Happy Easter Everyone! We hope you all had a great day celebrating with friends and family.
Emily and RachelUSA firstname.lastname@example.org Comments. Continue Reading...
Does this spring or summer include any travel plans for you, your friends, and family? If so, and you are anything like me and Emily, that means getting in some good magazine reading while you’re traveling. But, if you’re also like me, you will probably forget until you’re about to leave your house that you wanted to pick up some magazines for your trip. Well, Emily and I have a great magazine giveaway to offer nine, yes nine, of our readers that can help with this problem.
Zinio has graciously offered to give nine of our lucky readers free digital magazine subscriptions of their choice. Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, Lucky, or Us Weeklyanyone? All you need to do is leave a comment to this post and tell us your all-time favorite celebrity wedding. The giveaway will end Friday, March 29, 2013 at midnight CST. Our winners will be selected using a random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours to obtain their information to send to Zinio for the subscriptions (full name, email address, and magazine choice). The length of the subscription won depends on the magazine you choose.
For those of you who may not win a subscription, Zinio has some great offers right now that will end soon.
1) $5 off of $10 in new subscriptions-From now until March 31, 2013 you can receive $5 off of every $10 spent in new magazine subscriptions by clicking here
2) Get a two year subscription for the price of one year on select magazines-From now until April 2, 2013, you can get this two for one deal using this link
3) Five titles for $5 each-From now until March 31, 2013, you can subscribe to any of the titles listed here for only $5
If you have never heard of Zinio, it is a company that sells thousands of magazine titles digitally. Here is a link to their magazines . Zinio allows readers to purchase either single issues or full subscriptions to the magazines they offer, either on computers or mobile devices to read online or off-line. In addition to being named best iOS Magazine App During Best Ever Apps Awards at 2013 Mobile World Congress, Zinio has also earned four-star ratings in the iTunes and Android app stores. You can follow Zinio on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Good luck everyone and have a wonderful weekend!
Disclaimer: Zinio has compensated me and Emily with a free magazine subscription to try, in addition to our readers.470 Comments. Continue Reading...
If you are anything like me, you could probably use a newer, better camera. If you have been following our blog posts, you definitely know I could use a better camera. So, I have scoured the internet and found a great giveaway! Head on over to the Recipe Girl to enter a giveaway for a Canon Rebel T3. Be sure to enter before Friday, the 25th, at noon, when the giveaway ends. I have entered, but given my track record with winning anything, my expectations are very low. I do have a birthday coming up in about a month and a half, and I am thinking that a new camera would make a nice gift. However, I am not very camera savvy. I don’t want a big, bulky camera, but I would like a medium sized camera that takes clear pictures that are easy to upload. Do any of you have any suggestions for me? Please leave a comment if you do. I am open to anything and am in need of ideas.
Emily and I hope your New Year is off to a great start!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Here’s to new beginnings! My sister and I were born and raised in Alabama, and then we moved away. We look similar to some people. When we wear sunglasses, one of our grandmothers thinks we are actually the other sister. People stop us and have long conversations thinking we are the other sister. Our phones recognize one another’s voices. Are we twins? No. There are four years and another sister in between us.
We recently moved from here:
View of the Mountains in Ridgecrest, California
We’re excited to be back in Alabama!
Welcome to our blog!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Calling all connoisseurs of fine stationery! Crane’s is currently offering up to 40% off their personalized stationery. Just follow this link to their website to see all of your options.
But hurry, this end of summer sale won’t last much longer.
My personal pick is the watermelon on ecruwhite monogram correspondence cards. Pink and monograms are two of my favorite combinations. What’s your favorite?Comments Off Continue Reading...
American Stationery is offering a 10% discount off of orders totaling $65 or more. Act quickly because orders must be made online by Tuesday, October 18, 2011, in order to receive this discount. The company’s Always Correct Embossed Notes and its Timeless Embossed Notes are some of my favorites, and the prices won’t break the bank!Comments Off Continue Reading...
From the latest headlines, it seems Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are calling it quits on their marriage from this summer. According to reports, Kardashian and Humphries were married just 72 days before Kardashian filed for divorce. A question that has now been raised is: what should be done with the wedding gifts?
Probably the best practice is to return the gifts along with a thank you note, even if a thank you note was previously sent for the gift. Writing thank you notes and returning gifts during this difficult period may be quite draining, and having a set format will help the couple work through the letter writing process quickly. Here is an example of a thank you note a couple might find useful if they find themselves in a similar situation:
Dear Mrs. Roberts,
Thank you for the towel set you gave Jerry and me for our wedding. The towels are a beautiful color, and they feel so plush! However, please accept the return of this gift due to our impending divorce. We are saddened by this recent turn of events, but we appreciate your kind gesture of a lovely wedding present.
More thank you notes for brides will be available in our new book, Something New: A Bride’s Guide to Wedding Thank You Notes. We’ll have more information on the book in the next few weeks!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Wow! Today was such a busy day! Rachel and I headed out early in the morning to the Birmingham Public Library’s Local Authors Expo. We met many local authors, an illustrator, media members, and the fine folks who organized this exciting event. At the expo, we debuted our book, Something New: The Bride’s Complete Guide to Writing Thank You Notes along with a companion book for tracking wedding gifts and thank you notes sent for those gifts. This book was three years in the making and is the result of consulting etiquette books by Crane’s, Emily Post, Letitia Baldrige, and Robert Hickey. Rachel and I even collaborated long distance while she lived in Tennessee and I lived in California. Working together in Montgomery is so much easier! Have I said how glad we are to be back in Alabama?!
Our goal with this book is to save brides, their mothers, and mother-in-laws to be time and reduce their stress over how to properly address thank you notes and what to write in those thank you notes. Planning a wedding is stressful, especially with all of the other issues modern brides and their families confront. Thanking others for thoughtful gifts should be a time of reflecting on the wonderful friends and family supporting the couple. We hope this book simplifies the process of thanking others for their generosity!
Thanks to the Birmingham Public Library for sponsoring this event and for encouraging local authors to participate. You can read more about the Local Authors Expo here. Yes, Rachel and I are shown chatting to a future bride in this article! We’ll have pictures from the event and more information about our books posted soon!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Here Rachel and I are at our table for the Birmingham Public Library’s Local Authors Expo. Love the mural in the background:)
While we were in Birmingham, our mutual friend Jessica dropped by to visit and agreed to take pictures and be in pictures! Rachel met Jessica before I did, but Jessica and I survived law school together. Thanks for the support, Jessica!
We hoped to snag a picture with our editor, Liz Reed, but she was hurrying to yet another engagement when we met up with her Saturday. Mrs. Reed presented an editing workshop at the library during the expo. We cannot thank her enough for her advice! Her husband, Jim Reed, owns Reed Books in downtown Birmingham. Their experience really speaks for itself!
Since this is the holiday season when many people give and receive gifts, we’ll be offering tips on writing thank you notes for those gifts in the next few weeks. We’ll also be giving away a gift of our own. More on that later!
Thanks again to the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library for making the Local Authors Expo possible!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Time is up! We used the sequence generator at random.org to randomly select the winner. The winner of the book giveaway is #2 AEB: My favorite part of a wedding is the first dance!
Congratulations! We’re sending you an email. Happy writing:)
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. We enjoyed reading each of your comments!
We’re giving away a set of our books Something New: The Bride’s Complete Guide to Writing Thank You Notes and Something New: The Bride’s Complete Guide to Tracking Thank You Notes. One reader will be chosen after leaving a comment answering this question: What is your favorite part of a wedding? Is it the cake? The first dance? Tell us what you love the most! Good Luck!
The contest ends on Tuesday, December 13th, at 11:59 p.m., central time. The winner will be notified by email.
11 Comments. Continue Reading...
During this time of year, many of us will be giving and receiving gifts. When on the receiving end, it is considerate and always polite to drop the gift-giver a note. If you are at a loss for what to write, we’ve got some suggestions to get you started! Read below for some sample holiday thank you notes from our book, Something New. These samples are geared for holiday themed gifts an engaged or newly married couple might receive, but these notes may be adopted for use by anyone! Let us know if they help you.
Dear Mrs. Swanson,
Thank you for the vegetable bowl in the Spode Christmas Tree pattern you gave Frank and me for our wedding. I plan to use each Christmas piece we receive for our wedding during the holidays, even if it is just for Frank and me. I am hoping to host a Christmas party, though, to have a good excuse to use all our Christmas china pieces!
It was so kind of you to remember us with this special gift. Thank you for helping us celebrate our marriage.
Dear Mrs. Aronov,
Thank you for the beautiful Waterford crystal dreidel you gave Harry and me in celebration of our marriage. I displayed it just last week in time for the Hanukkah party we were hosting, and I received quite a few compliments on it. The way it sparkles under lights is just breathtaking!
We were so glad you and Mr. Aronov were able to make it to our wedding. Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.
Dear Mrs. Thomas,
George and I would like to thank you and Mr. Thomas for the beautiful, hand carved kinara you gave us for our wedding. This will make a wonderful centerpiece on our table when we are entertaining guests during Kwanzaa. The wood of the kinara blends so nicely with our wooden table!
We were so glad you were both able to come to the wedding. Thank you again for thinking of us during this special time in our lives.
October 11Comments Off Continue Reading...
We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas season and enjoys the last few days of the holidays! We’re looking forward to 2012 and what it has to offer. In the coming year, look for posts on area wedding vendor information, more information on thank you notes, and our latest activity with our books. Thank you so much for your support and have a wonderful start to the New Year!Comments Off Continue Reading...
What an exciting year 2011 was! It’s hard to believe 2011 is gone and 2012 is here. Toward the end of the year, we presented our book at the Local Authors Expo in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a neat experience because we worked on it for three years before getting it in final form. Thank goodness for the Internet! Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to collaborate as easily while we lived so far apart (California and Tennessee, to be specific).
Shortly after the Local Authors Expo, our book was featured online in The Birmingham News and in the print version of that same newspaper. Here is a link to the online version of that article.
We’ll be posting more information about our books in the coming weeks along with including information from local vendors. Thanks for reading, and we hope you are staying warm right now! Here’s to a new year with new opportunities:)
Comments Off Continue Reading...
One of our goals for 2012 is to interview several area wedding vendors in the hope of answering questions that many brides and their mothers may have while planning their weddings. For our first interview, we talked with our mother, Marsha Wood, who has spent the last several years studying the Spencerian script and completing jobs for clients. Her work has included designing wedding invitations, hand addressing wedding, Christmas party, and fundraising gala invitation envelopes, and designing monograms. Included in the interview below are some sample pictures of some of our mother’s work. We hope you will find the interview and pictures helpful. Check back soon for interviews with other area wedding vendors!
1) How did you become interested in calligraphy, and specifically Spencerian?
We received a catalog at our home in the mail that offered a variety of items, including learning to write in Spencerian. It was beautiful calligraphy and it really grabbed my attention. That year for Christmas I requested the items for gifts and received them. I initially attempted to teach myself using the materials. I was not progressing very well on my own. I contacted the author of the materials, Michael Sull, and he suggested that I attend the Spencerian Saga that he teaches in Ohio annually. I did attend the Saga but again did not become very skilled. A couple of years went by and when our oldest child, Emily, became engaged to be married, I really wanted to be able to address her wedding invitations in Spencerian. I again contacted Michael Sull and arranged for private lessons from him. After one on one time with him my writing improved to the point where I would not embarrass my family in sending out my writing for public viewing.
2) How long have you been studying Spencerian and completing jobs for clients?
It has been 8 years since I attended my first Spencerian Saga and began my instruction in this calligraphic journey. Our daughter’s wedding was my first calligraphic job and I have done calligraphic work for 8 years now.
3) What types of fonts do you offer?
I have branched out to also include various styles of Copperplate Calligraphy in my offerings to clients.
4) What is your favorite part of being able to write in calligraphic fonts?
Producing lovely writing is a joy, and helping clients’ special occasions to be enhanced by hand written calligraphy brings a sense of satisfaction.
5) What is your favorite font?
Since I began learning calligraphy using the Spencerian font it may be my favorite.
6) What has been your favorite job so far?
My favorite jobs have been to work on our daughters’ weddings and enhance their invitations with calligraphy and art work.
7 ) Can you work with out of state brides?
Working with out of state brides is not a problem. Mailing envelopes back and forth is so simple now. The computer is a wonderful vehicle for viewing samples, communication, lists, etc.
8) How far in advance of a desired completion date do brides need to start working
When a bride selects her wedding date she must begin contacting vendors and it is important to contact the calligrapher as early as possible as well.
9) What are some of the most important things that help you get your job done, but many brides forget to do when working with you?
The guest list is the biggest thing to do properly to make the calligrapher’s job as efficient as possible. I send clients a sheet of guidelines to follow in preparing their guest list. That way there is no confusion.
A bride has many choices of calligraphic fonts to use in her wedding invitation and in the style of envelope addressing. It is a matter of personal taste. Some brides use traditional black ink on their invitations and yet many color choices are available to them. I can color match almost any color of ink a bride might choose for her invitation to be printed in addressing the wedding envelopes. Monograms are sometimes used on various stationery (invitations, napkins, seating cards, etc) for the wedding. Designing monograms for clients is a fun project.
Fun Facts about Spencerian:
-It was the font of the original Coca-Cola logo
-It was considered the standard writing style for business correspondence in the US prior to the use of the typewriter
-It was developed in 1840, and began soon after to be taught in a school that Platt Rogerts Spencer established specifically for that purpose. The graduates of Spencer’s school began replicas of it across the globe, and thus Spencerian Script began to reach more and more schools.
Marsha Wood may be reached at email@example.comComments Off Continue Reading...
Please join us Saturday, March 3rd, from 10:30 – Noon for a book signing at the Smith-Byrd House in Prattville. If you or someone you know is getting married, our book, Something New: The Bride’s Complete Guide to Writing Thank You Notes, will help with the all important task of writing thank you notes for the gifts that are received during this exciting time. Its companion book, Something New: The Bride’s Complete Guide to Tracking Thank You Notes, is a helpful resource for tracking and organizing gifts and thank you notes. Both books will be available for purchase at the Smith-Byrd House. As an added bonus, scones and tea will be served for those who want to stay awhile. We look forward to seeing you there!
The Smith-Byrd House is located at 137 North Washington Street, Prattville, Alabama, 36067.Comments Off Continue Reading...
We’re giving away Crane & Co.‘s Letterpress Willows thank you notes. One reader will be chosen after leaving a comment answering this question: What is your favorite wedding cake flavor? Almond? Chocolate? Strawberry? Tell us which flavor you love the most! Good Luck!
The contest ends on Monday, March 5th, at 11:59 p.m., central time. The winner will be randomly selected by the sequence generator at random.org and notified by email.20 Comments. Continue Reading...
Time is up! We used the sequence generator at random.org to randomly select the winner. The winner of the book giveaway is #7, Julie, who loves chocolate cake at weddings!
Congratulations! We’re sending you an email and will be sending you Crane and Co.’s letterpress stationery. Happy writing:)
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. We enjoyed reading each of your comments!447 Comments. Continue Reading...
Have you ever wanted to sugar fruit for a special occasion but were a little wary of using egg whites or weren’t sure it would turn out correctly? Fear no more friends. I found a quick and easy recipe for sugaring fruit that does not involve egg whites!
For the groom’s cake at my wedding last year, I really wanted sugared fruit as the main decoration. I had run across this Martha Stewart groom’s cake picture and fell in love with the idea (Who doesn’t love a good Martha Stewart idea?).
I decided to research how to sugar fruit when my wedding cake baker told me he had never sugared fruit for a cake before , and he didn’t think he could do it for health reasons. So, I went to work researching various ways to sugar fruit without using egg whites.
The recipe I found and ended up using for my wedding involved only three ingredients besides fruit: 1) meringue power 2) water and 3) sugar. I was so relieved it was not going to be an expensive and tedious task! So, I practiced sugaring fruit a few times prior to my wedding and since it turned out well each time, I told my cake baker I would provide the sugared fruit for the cake. About two days prior to the wedding, I washed the fruit and sugared it. I didn’t refrigerate it because I had read that once the fruit has been sugared it should not be refrigerated.
Here is the recipe I have used to sugar fruit:
Estimated sugaring time: 30 minutes
Estimated drying time: 4-6 hours
1) 1/3 cup of meringue powder (available at craft stores, like Michaels)
2) 4 tablespoons of water
3) sugar as needed (approximately 8 ounces will cover 10 large pieces of fruit)
Wash your fruit, dry it, and set aside. Stir the meringue powder and water together in a small to medium bowl. Spread the meringue powder and water mixture over a piece of fruit (I have used pastry brushes or basting brushes to spread it in the past. I have seen where others have used paint brushes.). Once the piece of fruit is covered in the mixture, sprinkle sugar over the fruit while holding the fruit by the stem or on the ends. You may want to pour the sugar in a small bowl for easy access to it while sugaring. Repeat for each piece of fruit. Let the fruit dry on wax paper or a cooling rack for approximately 4-6 hours.
Don’t refrigerate the fruit once it has been sugared. The sugared fruit should be usable as a decoration for up to 4-7 days. If you plan on eating the fruit though, I would prepare it the day of your event or just one or two days prior to your event.
Below are some pictures and tips from my most recent endeavor to sugar fruit.
Meringue Powder and Water Mixture
Basting Brush used to spead Meringue Powder and Water Mixture over Fruit
What type of sugar to use:
For my wedding, I used regular granulated sugar and Wilton white sparkling sugar (available at craft stores, like Michaels). I used a mixture of the granulated and Wilton sugar on some pieces of fruit, while on others I used just the granulated or just the Wilton. I prefer the look of the Wilton sugar myself because I think it is more defined, but my mother prefers the look of just granulated sugar because the overall effect is more subtle. I think you could use almost any type of sugar available. It just depends on the look you like best.
Number of pieces of fruit the recipe will cover:
I was able to sugar about 10 large pieces of fruit using the 1/3 cup of meringue powder and 4 tablespoons of water. If you want to sugar more fruit, I would recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.
Sprinkling the sugar over the fruit:
I would recommend not holding the fruit over your bowl of sugar as you are sugaring. I did this once and ended up with a goopy mess in my bowl of sugar. The meringue powder and water mixture started running off the fruit and into the bowl of sugar. I found that just holding the fruit over wax paper while sprinkling sugar over it worked the best. Then, I just let the fruit dry on the wax paper.
Types of fruit to use:
Again, this is up to your preference. I have used grapes (red and green), pears, apples (red and green), oranges, lemons, limes, and plums in the past with success.
P.S. Here is a link to a recipe for making sugared fruit with egg whites.
Just be sure not to eat the fruit!287 Comments. Continue Reading...
We are in the middle of making some updates to our site, so some things on the site may not function entirely correctly right now. We are so sorry for the inconvenience. We hope to have our site up and running with full functionality within the next week.Comments Off Continue Reading...
Today we are talking with Beth and David Melling, owners of the Smith-Byrd House in Prattville. If you have not visited their gift shop or tea room yet, you are missing out! They have many unique items for sale in their gift shop, ranging from tussie mussies to bags of their own delicious teas. Their loose tea menu is quite extensive-it’s almost impossible to pick a flavor you wouldn’t like. Some of our favorites are Snowflake and Strawberry Shortcake. Their tea room menu is delicious as well. Once you taste their blackberry currant scones and strawberry cream scones, you might just be hooked for life. The Mellings even contributed a scone recipe and their recipe for clotted cream to the book Scones & Tea: The Ultimate Collection of Recipes for Teatime. The book is available in their gift shop.
Not only is this tea room and bed and breakfast perfect for a weekend getaway or an afternoon with friends, it is a great space for wedding events-whether it’s a shower or rehearsal dinner or both. To find out a little more about the inspiration behind Beth and David’s Victorian tea room and bed and breakfast, as well as their offerings for wedding events, we asked them the questions below:
1) How did you become interested in opening a tea room and a bed and breakfast?
David had just returned from a trip to England and Scotland when we met, and he loved the tea there. After we married, we went through a phase of enjoying flavored coffees. We started trying tea and found that to be more satisfying. David also had a boss at the time who loved tea and they began ordering loose tea together to save on shipping. A couple of sisters Beth knew from Georgia had opened up a tea room and when we were back visiting her parents, we made time to go have afternoon tea. We found several tea rooms near our home that we would frequent from time to time as well.
We both loved the aspect of taking your time and relaxing in this day where everyone seems to be in a hurry. At some point we found ourselves saying, “wouldn’t it be fun to open a tea room somewhere, someday.” Early on we also developed a love of historic homes, particularly from the Victorian era. After about 10 or more years of dreaming about someday, David found himself in one of the rounds of layoffs from his company. Beth told him that maybe now was the time, and immediately started going online and looking for old houses for sale. Wanting to return to her roots, Beth focused her search in the south, primarily Alabama and Georgia. As David got more excited about the idea, they developed a business plan which included both a tea room and bed & breakfast. We both enjoyed staying in B&B’s when possible as we traveled. Beth also had done a lot of volunteer work with our local university campus, so we were used to people coming in and out of our house. It was a natural progression for us. We love people, and both avenues allow us to utilize our natural gifts of hospitality and serving.
2) How long has the Smith-Byrd House been open?
May will be our 4th anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long! We bought the house in April of 2007 and spent most of the next year working to get it to a place where we could open for business. We currently have 2 rooms for the bed & breakfast, and we utilize the large dining room and the parlor for the tea room. We also use one of the downstairs rooms as a gift shop. We have over 100 varieties of loose tea that are available for purchase along with other tea related items.
3) How early do brides or shower hostesses need to contact you about an event?
Since we are starting to get more reservations for showers and luncheons, I would suggest at least a month or two before you plan to have it. We have some who plan it 3-6 months out and others who are trying to put something together fairly quickly. The earlier you contact us, the better chances of your date being available as some months tend to be busier or more popular than others.
4) Do you offer special menus for bridal events?
We do have several menu options in addition to our regular menu depending on the type of event. Our Princess Tea and Queen’s Tea are the most popular menu items for bridal teas and luncheons. We’ve even served those to smaller, more intimate showers. We have another menu for the more traditional shower where 25 or more people are expected. This option is served buffet style. We also do private dinners and have developed a menu for that too.
5) What types of wedding events can be held at the Smith-Byrd House?
We are a great location for Bridal Teas, Bridesmaids Luncheons, and Showers. If the wedding party is smaller, we can host the rehearsal dinner. Our dining room can seat around 25 comfortably. We might be able to accommodate a small intimate reception. The one thing we are not set up for is the wedding itself. The main reason is that even for an outdoor wedding, the house is located on a very busy and noisy corner lot. We felt like it is just not conducive to weddings.
With the bed & breakfast, we would be suitable for either out of town wedding guests, or if the bride and groom wanted a nice place to stay that is close so as not to have to drive too far right after a busy wedding day.
6) Is there one event that you have hosted so far that stands out as being most memorable? If so, what was it?
We hosted a party for the wife of one of the generals who retired from Maxwell Air Force Base. She had been a regular patron of the tea room, always bringing 2-3 women with her. Once her husband retired, they would be moving back to their home state in the mid-west. She had such a sweet spirit about her and we were honored that she chose to have her retirement luncheon here. We did our best to make it extra special, and I think we succeeded.
Fun Facts about the Smith-Byrd House:
-It was originally built in the 1880′s
-Beth and David offer a murder mystery dinner every few months
-Beth and David also offer scone making classes and tea tasting classes
Here is the contact information for the Smith-Byrd House:
Note: All pictures were obtained from http://www.smithbyrdhouse.comComments Off Continue Reading...
Does wedding planning, or life in general, stress you? If so, Blue Oil balancing concentrate may be just what you need! We were introduced to this Aveda product by Alexis over at Same Chic Different Day. It’s a combination of peppermint and blue camomile designed to refresh and soothe. The oil may be used for mental stress, repetitive movement stress, and tender muscles. Its scent is completely refreshing, and it also has a cooling effect (perfect for Alabama summers)! Blue Oil comes in a rollerball that fits perfectly into a purse, making it easy to carry and have on hand whenever needed. Consider adding it to your emergency bridal kit for the day of the wedding, giving it as a hostess gift, or giving it as a gift to your bridesmaids! It may be the best $15.00 you spend.
Aveda products may be purchased in the Montgomery area at Amplify Salon and Studio, Doug’s 2 Salon & Day Spa, 2940 Salon & Spa, and William Mason Salon (Prattville). If you’re not in the Montgomery area, you can find an Aveda location by entering your zip code or city and state, here.
We hope you have a balanced day!Comments Off Continue Reading...
A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding for a dear friend. About 30-45 minutes before the wedding ceremony began, a bridesmaid spilled steaming, hot coffee all over the train of the bride’s amazing dress while the bride was wearing the dress. Yes! You read that right! All. Over. The. Train. *GASP*
In the resulting panic, another bridesmaid, we’ll call her Betty*, grabbed a Tide pen and went to work on the coffee stain. Working feverishly with the bride still wearing the dress, Betty rubbed out most of the stain so that it was not noticeable. Tide, and Betty, saved the day (and the dress)!
Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover is a must! Every bride should have one of these pens in her emergency kit. Hopefully, she won’t need it, but having one on hand provides peace of mind that stain emergencies can be quickly remedied.
*This name has been changed to protect the identity of “Betty.”Comments Off Continue Reading...
Finding the perfect gift for bridesmaids can be so hard! This week, we’re sharing a fun idea for brides getting married during the spring and summer months or those who are having destination weddings. Okay. You guessed it: we’re dreaming of a sunny vacation ourselves!
A really fun gift is a brightly-colored tote, generous beach towel, and a water bottle for hydration. The tote serves multiple purposes after a beach trip (weekend getaway, anyone?). One can never have enough water bottles, and a beach towel can always double as a picnic blanket.
Other fun accessories may be added, too. Magazines? Hat? Sunscreen? Consider what your bridesmaids enjoy and personalize the gifts where you can. Have fun and enjoy pampering these ladies who have given of their time and money to celebrate your special day!
FYI- We’re loving L’Oreal’s Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Sunshield for face. It’s incredibly light and perfect for wearing under make-up. Both of us have extremely sensitive skin, too, and we experienced no tingling or burning when using this sunscreen. Introduce your bridesmaids to it. They will thank you!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Today, Denice Criswell Pittman, a Wilton Method course instructor, shares her expertise on wedding cakes! Who doesn’t love wedding cake? Read below for the answers she provided brides-to-be as they plan their big day. Denice teaches Wilton Method courses at Michaels in Montgomery, Alabama, and she also makes cakes for clients. Her contact information is provided at the end of the questions and answers.
Fondant Covered Groom’s Cake
Shower Cake: Buttercream and Fondant combination
Buttercream: Bun (Look how smooth it is!)
Fondant: Sesame Seeds, Cheese, Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, and Meat
1. What should a bride consider when deciding whether to order a wedding cake with either fondant or buttercream icing, two very common types of icing used on wedding cakes?
Most brides choose cakes covered in fondant because they want a cake that is smooth and seamless. Something to keep in mind, especially if the bride is on a budget, is that cakes covered in fondant cost more per serving, typically adding at least $1.00 and up per serving. Experienced decorators can achieve a smooth and seamless finish with buttercream icing, so the cake will look as smooth as a fondant covered cake even though it is covered in buttercream.
2. How should a bride choose her wedding cake design? Are any flavors, colors, or shapes taboo?
A bride should consider the style of her wedding as well as her own personal style. The cakes are the main focus of the reception, so the bride should make sure she is choosing a decorator that is professional who will create her cake and take pride in it as if it was her own wedding cake!
3. Do real flowers or flowers made out of icing/gum paste hold up better on a wedding cake, or does the type of flower really matter?
The type of flowers doesn’t really matter as far as holding up better on a cake. I personally like to have as many things as possible be completely edible on the cake. Flowers that are quite life-like can be created out of gum paste and fondant.
4. How does a bride plan the size cake she will order?
The amount of cake should serve slightly less than the amount of guests expected to attend the wedding. Not all guests will attend the reception, and some will not eat any cake. The reason I say that is to avoid the expense of excessive cake that will be left over or that will be wasted.
5. Do you have any advice for selecting a groom’s cake? Should the cake compliment the wedding cake, or can it be completely different?
The groom’s cake doesn’t have to complement the bride’s cake. The style of the groom’s cake typically reflects the groom’s hobbies or interests. Traditionally the groom’s cake has been chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but that isn’t always the case now. Many times it is the groom’s favorite flavor of cake and icing.
6. What is your favorite wedding cake or groom’s cake?
That is an easy one: chocolate is my favorite for any dessert! The icing is my favorite part of the cake. I tell people I like a little bit of cake with my icing! As far as style, I love to create cakes that are “outside the box.” Cakes that are non-traditional and whimsical are the most exciting, and I love a challenge!
7. Is there any wedding cake trivia, or cake trivia in general, you can share with us?
Many years ago guests brought cakes to the wedding and placed them across a table. The bride and groom then attempted to kiss one another across the table, above all of the cakes. One day, a baker decided to put all the cakes together and cover them in frosting. This is how the traditional, tiered wedding cake began!
Mini-biography of Denice:
In 2008, I decided to take cake decorating classes at Michaels in Montgomery, Alabama, to learn how to decorate the cakes I was making for my “4 legged” children. After taking the very first class, I was completely hooked on cake decorating!!!!!! God used my desired to decorate better cakes for my “4 legged” children to show me the new gift and talent He was ready to give to me. Believe me, I had no desire to be a cake decorator, but boy did that change in an instant!!!!!!!! I could not get enough of this new hobby I had! Well, little did I know that God had better plans for me than it just being a hobby! In May of 2011, I became a Wilton Method cake decorating instructor taking over teaching the classes when my instructor was retiring from teaching. I really didn’t see that coming! I love to share my knowledge of cake decorating with others!!!! God has opened so many “doors” and “windows” for me, and I am so thankful to Him for giving me the new gift that He has entrusted me with! I can’t wait to see what paths He has planned for me! Always listen to those “whispers of God;” you never know what He has in store for you!
Denice Criswell Pittman
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Have you seen the latest issue of Martha Stewart Real Weddings? We were so excited when we spotted it! Imagine our surprise when we were flipping through and discovered a simple recipe for sugaring lemons. Page 27 of the magazine provides instructions for making sugared lemons involving only three ingredients: 1) lemons, 2) beaten egg whites, and 3) coarse white sugar! If you don’t have coarse white sugar and don’t want to order any (or don’t have time to order it), Wilton’s Sugar Sprinkles (available at craft stores) or even granulated sugar from the grocery store may also be used.
How gorgeous would this centerpiece be for weddings, showers, or any other special occasion?! Adding lemon leaves provides a nice contrast to the bright yellow, but if lemon leaves are not available, other, similarly sized green leaves could be substituted. We haven’t tried this particular recipe, but the magazine also suggests using it to sugar pears and grapes.
Several weeks ago, we provided a tutorial on sugaring fruit to use on a groom’s cake. The centerpiece featured in the magazine is so fresh, vibrant, and perfect for summer, we wanted to share the idea of sugared fruit used in a different way. We hope you enjoy!Comments Off Continue Reading...
We always need more time! How about you? With the heat and humidity quickly approaching, we were desperate to reduce the amount of time we spend on daily blowouts before heading to work. The solution? FREESHAPE Quick Blow Dry by KMS California.
Don’t worry: when you purchase a bottle, it is full. The one in the picture is one that has been used daily since it was purchased. It really works! FREESHAPE Quick Blow Dry can be used right before blow-drying, or you can spritz your hair with it and let it air dry awhile before blow-drying. Either way, it has reduced the drying time on our hair. It also reduces some of the frizziness we’re both prone to when it rains and is exceptionally humid. So far, we’ve been able to use it alone when blow drying and styling our hair. No other products are necessary, although you might want to try your other favorite hairstyling products with it.
KMS California products may be purchased at authorized salons. Ours came from ULTA. Here’s a link to the KMS California salon finder so you can find a salon near you! Our bottle was in the neighborhood of $17.00 (can’t remember the exact price), and it has been well-worth the money.
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Recently, my husband’s niece, Cailin, sent this thank you note to my in-laws. Isn’t it sweet? Cailin is a cheerleader for The Mints. This year, The Mints were named National Cheerleader Association (NCA) National Champions. These young ladies and their parents worked incredibly hard logging many, many miles in order to obtain their goal. Part of the path to the championship also involved raising money for uniforms, travel, etc.
Here’s a picture of Cailin at the beach.
As a way to say “thanks” for a donation to The Mints, Cailin sent this note. It’s a great reminder that it’s never too early to start learning how to express appreciation to others. Thanks for setting such a great example, Cailin!
Besides (or in addition to) writing a thank you note, are there other ways you have found to say “thanks”?
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This week, we’re surveying our readers to find out the information they most want from us. What questions do you have that you most want answered? Do you have wedding-specific questions, beauty questions, fitness questions, clothing questions, or do you have questions about something else? Let us know by posting your questions below in the comments section. We can’t wait to hear from you!5 Comments. Continue Reading...
Recently, it was time for my quarterly hair trim and highlight. Jo at Wow Salon and Spa is my hairdresser, and she was kind enough to let us take photos of the process I went through a few weeks ago.
*Here’s a picture of me as my partial highlights were lifting. Please remember I am pregnant in this photo, and I don’t usually have a double-chin:)
Jo was kind enough to answer our questions about bridal hair and planning a hairstyle for a major event, like a wedding. Thanks so much for your expertise, Jo! Here is what we learned.
1. How close to the wedding should a bride color her hair (dye, highlight, etc.) and trim it in order for it to look best for her wedding?
One to two weeks, preferably two weeks, so that the color has time to adhere to the hair.
2. How should a bride evaluate what is more appropriate for her hair type and color: dye or highlights?
The best way to evaluate this is to consult with a hairdresser. Everyone’s hair is different, and our hair also changes through the years in reaction to stress and other events. A sound rule of thumb is that no major hair changes should be made right before a wedding.
3. What is the difference between highlights and lowlights, and are lowlights always recommended when someone also gets highlights?
Highlights are highlifts. These are the blonde shades. Lowlights are darker shades. Lowlights are not always recommended in conjunction with highlights. Depending on the season, someone may only need highlights. It is best to consult with your hairdresser when making this decision.
4. How should a bride determine how to wear her hair on her wedding day? Is hairstyle dictated by style of wedding dress, region (such as humid areas), type of hair, or is it fairly easy to tailor the hairstyle to whatever the bride wants?
It is usually pretty easy to tailor the bride’s hairstyle to the hairstyle the bride wants. However, the style of wedding dress, weather, and location of the wedding are factors that must be considered. For instance, an up-do may be better on a rainy day, depending on the location and the bride’s hair.
5. What hair products do you recommend for “staying” power throughout the wedding day?
A very firm hold hairspray is a bride’s best friend on her wedding day.
6. Do you have any recommendations for accessories that work particularly well with bridal hairstyles (or don’t work well): flowers, tiaras, feathers, etc.?
Hair accessories depend on the bride’s hairstyle and wedding dress. In general, a bride doesn’t want “too much” going on with her hair. It is best to have a trial run with your hairdresser and hair accessories, including the veil, if one is being worn.
7. Are there any special steps a bride should take to keep her hair in peak condition as her wedding approaches, or are regular washing and conditioning enough?
Depending on the shape the bride’s hair is in, usually regular washing, conditioning, and trimming is enough to keep the hair in peak condition leading up to the wedding.
8. What is a chignon?
A chignon is hair worn in a knot, similar to a bun. It is usually formed at the nape of the neck.
9. What is your favorite wedding hairstyle?
My favorite wedding hairstyle is one pulled in a low, side ponytail and then curled.
10. Do you have any advice for brides in choosing a hairstyle for their big day?
The best thing to do is look like yourself! Refrain from making any major changes to your hair the week of the wedding.
11. Does WoW Salon offer bridal hair sessions? How far in advance of the wedding should they be scheduled?
Yes, we offer bridal hair sessions. Generally, these sessions are scheduled as “trial” hair sessions two weeks before the wedding, and we take photographs of the hairstyle. This is also the time to experiment with hair accessories. This trial run can be done in conjunction with the last hair color application before the wedding. We also offer bridal party packages, too. Please contact us about prices for trial sessions and our bridal party packages.
WoW Salon and Spa offers hair, waxing, nail, body, sunless tanning, and skincare services. The salon is located at 424 Old Farm Lane South, Prattville, Alabama, 36066. The phone number is 334-285-0291. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Salon services may be viewed here.
When I married, I wanted my hair to look similar to Mariska Hargitay’s hairstyle on her wedding day.
I know it is hard to see, but she had a mixture of roses and gardenias in her hair. My florist recommended against wearing real gardenias because they wilt so quickly. I married in August, so you can imagine how brutally hot it was! I took my florist’s suggestion and used faux gardenias instead, and they worked very well. It was nice not to worry about the blooms turning brown in my hair. What hairstyles inspire you?
EmilyComments Off Continue Reading...
For Christmas last year, my in-laws gave my husband and me a trip to the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club, & Spa in Point Clear, Alabama. We’re both pretty busy, and coordinating our schedules for some time “off” can be a challenge. With baby #1 on the way, though, we knew we had to do it soon! A few weekends ago, we were finally able to make it happen. We had a fantastic time and crammed in as much as we possibly could in a few days. This hotel would be a beautiful location for a wedding or honeymoon, and it provided a perfect little weekend trip for us! My sweet husband flew us down and back, but no, the plane isn’t ours:) Maybe one day!?
A closer view. I love that you can even see the backyard pool in this photograph. I’ve never considered myself a particular fan of aerial photography, but seeing Mobile Bay from above gave me a new appreciation for it!
Last aerial photograph, at least for this post:) If you look closely, you can see a sailboat in the upper left-hand corner. The variation in water color was amazing to me in these photographs. Love the green trees, too.
Once we landed, we headed to the hotel. Here’s what greeted us:
The flowers in the lobby were tropical and fun on the day we checked in to the hotel.
Here’s a close-up. Wish these were available at my local flower market! I probably would have no idea how to arrange them if they were, though:)
After checking in, we headed to our room. Even though we saved some time by flying down rather than driving, we were still tired from traveling.
Ahhh. Sweet relief for these tired travelers! In the picture, this bed doesn’t look very large, but it was a king sized bed. It was perfect for us!
This was the refreshment station in our room. I always appreciate it when hotels offer coffee and tea!
This tray of toiletries was available in the bathroom. I don’t often try hotel products because of my sensitive skin, but I loved the body wash and lotion. The tray was so cute, how could I not try something?
The hotel was completely booked while we were there. Despite the crowd, we were able to see and do everything we wanted to do on the hotel property. We also had no trouble catching the shuttle into Fairhope for a little shopping.
Thanks for looking!!! We’ll have more information on the hotel property in the next post.
EmilyComments Off Continue Reading...
So, this week’s post was supposed to provide more information about our recent trip to the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. I’m still editing those pictures, so please bear with me. I promise: we’ll finish up with the Grand next week! In the meantime, I wanted to share my most recent purchases at Bath and Body Works. Seriously!
This week, select shower gels and body washes are $3.00 each. I could not resist getting some of the men’s body washes for my husband! I’ll probably use some of them for myself, too:) The Ocean fragrance was my favorite, but it looks like it is sold out online in the $3.00 wash. If you are near a store, though, you may still be able to purchase Ocean. If you aren’t near a store, there are several other fragrances available online at the $3.00 price. Plus, the Classic fragrance is now only $2.75! Classic wasn’t available at the store where I made my purchase. Oh, well! I still got some great bargains!
Ladies, what’s your favorite Bath and Body lotion or cream fragrance? I love, love, love Shea Cashmere & Silk hand cream, and right now, it is available for $5.00. Regularly, it’s $10.00 per tube. If you can’t find it in your local store, you can buy it on the Internet! I think I almost bought out my local store, but I only buy this cream when it’s on sale. Why pay more for it when you can get it half-price? I love that I can stash it in my handbag because it’s so small or take it on an overnight trip.
These washes and creams make great gifts for members of the wedding party, hostesses, or anyone else on your gift list, but the Bath and Body Works sale changes every week. If you don’t want to miss these deals, hurry to your nearest store (even if it’s online). Happy shopping!
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Happy 4th of July everyone! It has been scorching hot here today, but it has been a fun day of honoring military members, participating parades, and enjoying good food. We hope you stay safe and cool today.Comments Off Continue Reading...
Well, Emily and I are finally back to blogging after a summer hiatus. Among other things this summer, Emily and her husband Drew had their first child, William, and I finally got around to ordering my wedding photo album. I guess you might say Emily had a bigger summer than I did, but those wedding photos are hard to pick out when you have a budget. Here is a picture of my new nephew and me when he was just one day old!
On another note, for brides out there planning their wedding ensemble, have you had any trouble picking out a veil for your wedding? Here is a short introduction to veils if you have not yet decided on one.
When planning my wedding, I could not seem to find a veil that I liked and could afford. My dream veil was a three tier, cathedral length veil. So, I found a picture of a veil that I was smitten with and then worked with a local seamstress who helped me recreate it. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend this approach if you are having trouble finding a veil.
First, I met with my seamstress and showed her a picture of the veil I wanted to recreate. Here is a picture of the veil. This is just a single layer veil, but I loved the idea of having an Alencon lace border near the bottom of the veil. My dress had Alencon lace appliques on it, so I thought the touch of lace on the veil would tie the two pieces together nicely. I also did not want the ribbon edge pictured on the Erica Koesler veil because I thought it would be distracting. My seamstress estimated how much tulle and lace I would need to purchase, and I set off with my mother to find the necessary materials.
The tulle was a simple purchase. I found nylon tulle in an off-white color in Jo-Ann’s that was a close match to the color of my dress. Needless to say, finding the Alencon lace was a bit more challenging. Neither my mother nor I (nor any of our friends) could not find a store that carried this lace in a border pattern like I needed. So, I started searching and searching and searching online. I finally came to the conclusion that no one carried the wide border lace I wanted for my veil. So, I started considering alternative solutions, like buying a wider border than needed and cutting it in half.
In my tireless search for the perfect Alencon lace, I came across a website for a store based in New Orleans that sells several different types of Alencon lace. I was a little skeptical of the store due to the name. Baltazor Fabrics just sounded to me- who I admit, am a little paranoid about buying things online from a store I have not visited before- like it could be a scam. Lucky for me and everyone else who has ordered from Baltazor, it is a very legitimate business. I ended up ordering the 14” wide Fleur de Lis pattern in ivory. Since I was going to cut the lace in half, I was able to order only half of the yardage I needed for my veil. My seamstress had some very small, precise scissors she uses for cutting delicate fabrics, so she let my mother and I borrow them to cut this lace in half. We were nervous the entire time we were cutting this lace, but we were able to do it in just one Sunday evening.
Once the lace was cut, I took the tulle and the lace to my seamstress. It did not take long at all for her to put the veil together -it was just four basic materials: tulle, lace, one hair comb (my seamstress just used one she had on hand), and thread. Once everything was said and done, my dream veil ended up only costing about 1/3 of what it would have cost in a store. I was thrilled!
I used the shortest, first tier as a blusher (it covered my face until the kiss in the wedding ceremony). The longest tier was of course the one that was most noticeable and the one my matron of honor helped arrange for me during the ceremony. The middle tier added some nice volume to the top of the veil and helped keep my backside from looking like just one flat piece of tulle during the wedding ceremony. Here are two pictures from my wedding. In the bottom picture, you can see the blusher over my face and you can just barely see the edge of the middle tier in the back.
There are the two main tips I can pass along from my veil shopping/recreating experience.
1) Lace can add a lot of weight to a veil. I had tried on my veil many times prior to the big day, but for some reason (I guess I did not walk around enough in all those trying-on sessions), I did not notice how heavy my veil was until the day of my wedding. I put in so many bobby pins to keep the comb in my hair, I think I almost used a whole package of them. Those bobby pins and hairspray held the comb in well though. My veil did not end up falling out of my hair halfway down the aisle, like I was afraid it would. While walking down the aisle, I could definitely feel the pull/weight of the lace on the veil. I can’t imagine how much heavier it would have been had I added lace to the entire length of my veil. I am almost certain a veil with that much lace of the width I chose would not have stayed in my hair.
2) Don’t give up if you can’t find a veil you like in your budget range. Just look for a picture of a veil you love and then find a local seamstress you trust and can talk to about how to recreate the look of the veil in a way that will work with your dress.
Happy veil hunting everyone!
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Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you are all looking forward to the weekend. I know I am.
Have you ever wanted a portrait of you, your loved one(s), or a beloved pet, but you did not necessarily want to pay the price associated with most portraits? I am in the same boat. I knew I would like to get a nice oil portrait of Jordan and me at some point, but I thought that would be many years down the road. In fact, it probably will be many years down the road. However, Emily stumbled upon a nice alternative this summer when she and Drew vacationed at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, for a few days-chalk portraits by Arthur Smith! Arthur Smith is an artist primarily based out of Birmingham, but he spends a good portion of his summers drawing portraits in Point Clear at the Grand Hotel. His facebook page and his website contain more information about his work, pictures of his work, and his contact information.
Here is a quick summary of his work.
-Most of his portraits are 16×20 in size.
-A portrait with one person is $100. A portrait with two people is $150, or you can order two separate portaits for $200 total.
Although Mr. Smith often draws his portraits while the subjects sit for him in person, Emily and I just gave him pictures from our wedding to use. In no more than two weeks, he had completed all four of our portraits (Emily and I both ordered two portraits each-one of each of us and one of our husbands). Prior to completion of our portraits, Mr. Smith also met with us to make sure we were pleased with his work. Upon our approval, he added some finishing touches to our portraits, and they were complete!
Since the portraits are chalk, Mr. Smith does recommend framing your portraits, including glass and matting. One day, I might get nicer, more custom frames and mats for my portraits. However, for now, I just picked out some frames in stock at Michael’s (18x 24 frames) and mats that were in stock as well. Below are pictures of our portraits. What do you think? I am very pleased with them and am so glad Emily found out about Mr. Smith. It’s not everyday you run across a chalk portrait artist.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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Brides, do you feel like you have enough lists to keep up with for your wedding? I know all the lists seem endless (here is a great checklist from Real Simple), but I would highly recommend adding a particular one if you have not already-a list of everything that needs to be brought home after your wedding and wedding reception.
For my wedding, I brought several personal items to the ceremony and the reception that needed to make their way back home afterwards. I knew I was not going to be around to help pack up after the reception, but I did not think about making a list of those items that I wanted returned to me after the wedding. I wish I had though. Almost everything made it back, except the toasting goblets that Jordan and I used at the reception. These goblets were sterling silver and matched our flatware pattern. Although the silver company currently makes the flatware, they do not make the goblets anymore. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I realized the goblets were missing.
This would be an easy list to make, and then whoever is cleaning up your wedding can check off each item as it is packed. Once you return home, if you cannot find an item, you can look at the list to see if it was checked off or not. If it was checked off, you will know it is probably somewhere in your house or a relative’s house or friend’s house-you just need to look a little harder. But, if it wasn’t checked off, you will know that you probably need to contact your wedding and/or reception venue to see if they have found it.
I know this isn’t a particularly exciting topic, but I hope it will help someone avoid the disappointment of losing a valued item in the craziness that is a wedding. What other tips do you have to help brides stay organized during their wedding?
Here is a different list you might find a little more interesting for reading on your Columbus Day-a list of fun wedding trivia!
Having trouble with your wedding thank you notes? Find out more information on the books we wrote to help simplify the process on our “Something New: Book Information” page.Comments Off Continue Reading...
In the spirit of the current political season, Emily and I thought we would join in the discussions in our own way. Below are pictures of past presidential stationery made by Crane & Co. All political views aside, we completely agree with these presidents’ choices in stationery! It doesn’t get much better than Crane’s. We hope you enjoy these pictures from Crane’s Pinterest boards (you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them).
President Bush’s dinner invitation honoring England’s royalty
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Are you looking for a stylish, yet relatively inexpensive decorative item for your home or a winter wedding? I found a great decoration the other day at BallardDesigns.com-a fresh cedar alphabet wreath. It is approximately 24” tall with a pinecone and red berry sprig on the left side of the letter. Right now, the wreath will ship around 11-20-12, but you can specify a specific week later in the year for the wreath to ship. The wreath’s retail price is $39.00. However, if you sign up for Ballard Designs’ emails, you should receive a 10% coupon. Or, if you are already registered to receive Ballard Designs’ emails, you should have a 15% off coupon sitting in your inbox.
If you are a still a little skeptical about this wreath, I will try to remember to write about the wreath that I ordered, when it arrives. I requested for it to arrive the week after Thanksgiving. Happy decorating everyone!
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When I was engaged and planning my wedding, I realized I wanted and needed to get in shape. At the time, I was in my last year of law school, and for awhile, fitness and healthy eating just had not been a priority of mine. As my wedding date drew near, I started getting nervous about wearing a white dress (which isn’t the most flattering color on someone as pale as myself) and walking down the aisle in front of family and friends. I wanted to look my best, and I knew that I really needed to focus on my workout routine.
The problem was, I didn’t have a work-out routine. What’s a girl with a limited budget and limited time to do? I had access to my school’s gym, but using it wasn’t as convenient as I needed it to be. I searched and searched for ideas on the Internet. I knew I wanted to combine some strength training with cardio. Finally, I stumbled on the book Buff Brides written by Sue Fleming. It was so helpful!
The book was very well organized and provided specific directions for weight training. It was organized into a 24 week program and a 12 week program for those who find themselves in a time crunch. The book provides steps and illustrations to complete each exercise. Since I knew next to nothing about strength training, I found the illustrations and directions very helpful. In addition to the information on strength training, the book also provided suggestions for combining strength training with cardio. Because Buff Brides was so user friendly, I ended up following the program right up until my wedding using the exercises in the book and usually walking at a fast pace for my cardio. I did have to purchase some equipment: hand weights, an exercise ball, ankle weights, and a step platform. However, I could work out at any time in my own apartment. Sometimes, I was finishing my workout at 1:00 a.m.
Now there is apparently a DVD for those who prefer something like that to using the book, but the book is still available. Sue has also written other books for getting into shape, but I have not used those.
Several weeks ago, I had a baby, and so getting back into shape is constantly on my mind. Wish me luck! I’m starting back on the Buff Brides program next week, even though I’m not planning a wedding:) That’s how much I enjoyed it years ago!
Here’s the reason I’m out of shape. I think it’s a pretty good one:)
What are your tips for getting into shape?
EmilyComments Off Continue Reading...
We hope everyone had a wonderful day visiting with family and friends! We certainly enjoyed our time catching up with family we had not seen in a while and remembering everything for which we are thankful. Now it’s time for a good night’s sleep to get ready for the sales tomorrow. Happy shopping!Comments Off Continue Reading...
Happy Friday readers! Today, I thought I would share an experience and revelation from my makeup routine. Do you have trouble getting your eye shadow to show up on your eyes, much less last all day? Due to my extremely light complexion, I had that problem until one day, by chance, I made a change to my makeup routine. A few years ago, my eyelids were all of a sudden becoming dryer and dryer. So, at the suggestion of a friend, I tried applying a gentle moisturizer to my eyelids immediately after showering (applying it immediately after showering gives it time to dry a little before I apply my makeup). To my surprise and delight, I also found out that the moisturizer acted like an eye shadow primer-it intensified my eye shadow and helped my eye shadow last all day without fading.
I personally use Curel moisturizer on my eyelids. Several people I know like Cetaphil‘s moisturizer, but for some reason, Cetaphil burns my skin. You might want to check with your dermatologist before adding moisturizer on your eyelids to your skincare routine. I asked my dermatologist about applying Curel to my eyelids since they were dry, and she indicated that was a good solution for my issue. Below are pictures of my base eye shadow. The first picture is without moisturizer and the second picture is with moisturizer. The difference with the base alone is huge. It’s no wonder I never looked like I was wearing eye shadow prior to my moisturizer revelation. Do you have any makeup tips that have made a difference in your routine?
Fondly,Comments Off Continue Reading...
Even if you have been married for a while or are not planning on getting married anytime soon, you have probably seen the beautiful silk covered wedding memory albums for sale, like Marcela Creations’ albums. I personally think these albums are great, except for the price tags, the ability to easily ruin the covers since they are silk, and the inability to easily add pages or remove them away since they are often post bound instead of three ring bound. Last year, I ordered an old Hallmark wedding memory album on Ebay because it had a hard cover and was ring bound. However, I was never very pleased with the cover itself. It looked dated and just was not what I was hoping to find. I did however order Marcela Creations’ wedding memory album refill pages for the album I ordered on Ebay, and I was very pleased with those pages. They captured all the important information from our wedding and wedding showers without including too much information.
While partaking in my usual Sunday afternoon online browsing recently, I came across this ring bound, leatherette memory/scrapbook/photo album in ivory made by Pioneer. This album includes with 20 12×12 top-loading page protectors. I have not used those pages though. I replaced them with my Marcela Creations’ wedding memory album refill pages (8.5″ x 11″ in size) and adhesive, self-stick, photo safe refill pages from Target (8.5″ x 11″ in size as well. They are great because you can place your pictures vertically if that is how they were taken, so you don’t have to tilt your head to look at all the vertical pictures when going through the album). I have almost completely filled in my wedding album memory refill pages, and I am currently working on placing my wedding invitation, shower invitations, newspaper articles, and a few pictures from our wedding and honeymoon in the photo refill pages.
Probably what I like most about this Pioneer memory album is that is like a small box with a pretty ribbon closure. So, if you have this album closed and the ribbon tied when you pick it up and put it down, you will not have to worry about pictures or other mementos falling out of their pages and the album. I also like the price-at only $28, it will be easy to replace if it ever needs to be replaced. I purchased my album from Overstock, but it looks like it is available at a variety of other stores, including JoAnn’s. Here is a picture of my album
One of my projects for next year is going to be organizing my pictures from years past, and now that I have discovered this neat photo album, I plan on purchasing it in navy blue to help organize all my other pictures.
On an entirely different note, below is a picture of the wreath I ordered from Ballard Designs that I wrote about a few weeks ago. What do you think about it? I love it! I have had it for close to a week, and it seems to be holding up well. Due to the very warm December we are having in Alabama, I am having to spritz the wreath with water a few times a week, but it does not take long.
Thanks for stopping by today, and have a wonderful weekend!
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If time flies by for you, like it does for Emily and me, you probably find it hard to believe Christmas is only days away. We found the neatest Christmas countdown and giveaways over at MagnetStreet Weddings. They have had 9 days of giveaways and are going all the way to 12 days of giveaways, ending on December 23rd. Their latest giveaway was $100 to use toward Save the Dates and Invitations from MagnetStreet Weddings, and the closer it gets to Christmas, the bigger their giveaways get. So, if you could use some freebies for your wedding, head on over to MagnetStreet Weddings’ blog and answer their question(s) for the day in their comments section. Even though you can only win once, today might just be your lucky day!
Emily and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!1 Comment. Continue Reading...
Emily and I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! We appreciate all your support and encouragement over the past year. To date, we have shipped our books to seven states outside of Alabama and countless cities within Alabama. We are excited about the new year and are looking forward to what it holds. Thank you again!
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