Merry Brides

LIVE WITH PASSION!

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Great Balls Of Ice

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Yesterday I was visiting my sister and she served drinks with large round ice cubes filled with berries which were so cute. So being the domesticated diva I am I peeked into her freezer and found her ice cubes were in these little round balls.  Yep you guessed it, I went home last night and ordered ice cube ball molds on Amazon

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FANCY ICE CUBES

I know you’re probably thinking how silly I sound for being excited about ice cube molds, but you can kick up the your ice cubes a notch and make a nice presentation to your guests….

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  • Add food coloring after an hour of freezing to create colorful swirls
  • Put a piece of lime, lemon, or orange into the mold before you add the water. This is not only great for presentation, it infuses the ice ball with the fruit and will slowly release the flavor into your cocktail.
  • Stick some mint or other herbs into the water before you freeze it. Bartenders do this to heighten the senses while the cocktail is being consumed.

It is very easy to fill an ice cube mold.

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CRACKED ICE CUBES

Here are some tips to prevent your ice cubes from cracking….

  • Put the mold in a hand towel, Ziplock bag, Tupperware container, or even a pot to slow down freezing process. 
  • Don’t run the mold or ice under water. The silicone material will allow easy removal of the ice.
  • Gently place the ice ball into the drink instead of pouring the beverage over the ice.    

Ball Ice Cube Molds are available on Amazon.

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Filed under entertaining party Summer party ideas ice cube mold

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Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Filling

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* Makes approximately 2 dozen muffins

Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp gel food color, approx. (Wilton Red)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white distilled vinegar

Filling:

10 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice

Frosting:

12 oz cream cheese
12 oz butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cup confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients for the cupcakes: flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar until smooth.

3. Slowly add in the dry mix and blend for a minute or two until fully incorporated.

4. Fill cupcake pan with liners about 2/3 full. Bake on 350 for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pans and let fully cool.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your filling and frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon just until well blended. Spoon filling into a pastry bag with no tip, just a coupler or a large round tip and set in refrigerator.

6. Now for the frosting, start by beating the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.

7. Fill another pastry bag with the frosting using any tip you desire to decorate your cupcakes; I used a Wilton star tip. Store in refrigerator until ready. Both the frosting and the filling can be made in advance to save time, just twist the tops of your pastry bags so they are closed.

8. Once the cupcakes are cooled, it’s time to make a hole for the filling. Using a small paring knife, cut a cone shaped piece of cake from the top center of the cupcake. Be sure to cut only partially into the cupcake and not all the way down to the bottom. Discard the cones or eat them while you decorate.

9. Using your pastry bag with filling, begin to squeeze filling into each cupcake’s cavity just until it reaches the top.

10. Take your other pastry bag full of frosting and begin to ice the cupcakes by making concentric circles starting on the outer edge and working your way inward and up. These cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator until it’s time for your event. Hope you enjoy your cupcakes!

HINT: For evenly baked cupcakes use a Silicone Muffin Pan. Your cupcakes will pop right out of the pan and cleanup will be easy. 

Silicone Muffin Pans available on Amazon.


** Original Recipe Source: An Apple A Day

Filed under recipe red velvet cupcakes cream cheese desserts

47 notes

DIY Rose Garland

Guest Blog: Maggie Lord

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I love this charming garden rose garland. It is perfect for any wedding decor. Use it as a ceremony backdrop, a window frame garland, a photo booth backdrop, or a sweets table accessory….the list is endless.

What You’ll Need :  

  • Floral Wire
  • Green Branches
  • Garden Roses
  • Spray Roses
  • Sea Lavender
  • Clippers
  • Rose Stems

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Your first step is to lay out your branches into the shape that you will want your garland.  You may want to measure first and then tape out the shape on the ground or table where you are working so that you have something to follow.  We followed the seams in the concrete to get a good right angle to follow.

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Once you have your layout, take sturdy floral wire and attach the branches where they cross over.  You can leave some extra wire loose to use later.

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Next, you will want to trim the stems off of the garden roses and attach pre-soaked rose stems to the blossoms.

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Using the wire from the rose stem, secure the garden rose blossoms to the branch as tightly as you can without damaging the blossom.

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It is best to attach to the branches further back so that the rose feels nestled into the garland.

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Space out the blossoms so that they form a loose cluster that feels organic.

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Next, using extra loose wires or fresh wires, add the spray roses in and around the garden roses to create dense clusters.

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You can also add the spray roses out along the branches to give the garland some color.

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Use the spray roses to fill in any large gaps you see.

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Next take sprigs of sea lavender and wrap the stems with thin floral wire

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Using the loos wire at one end twist the lavender into the empty gaps in the garland to create a full effect.

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Add lavender along the garland as you see fit.  You may want to hang it at this point so that you can get a feel for how it looks up on a wall.

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Go in and add any extra filler at this point until it looks balanced.

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You may want to extend some of the filler down the branches away from the center.

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Also take a look at the garland from the side to see if there are any gaps that need filling.

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Et voila ! You are finished!   This looks amazing hung outside as a window dressing ….

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… or inside as a free form wall decoration!

**** A special thank you to Maggie Lord and Rustic Wedding Chic for sharing this charming tutorial. 

** Photo and Tutorial credits: Rustic Wedding Chic

Filed under rose roses flower flowers rose garland decor DIY garland wedding decor

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Dionisis Chalikias Jewelry - Handmade Eco-Friendly Rings

image                                           Handmade Marble Ring

Like most women, I’m constantly on the hunt for unique accessories, and that especially applies to jewelry. When I browse stores for new jewelry, everything starts to look the same to me. Didn’t I just see that necklace somewhere else? Doesn’t my friend own this bracelet? It’s hard to be one-of-a-kind with mass produced store bought jewelry.

That is why I enjoy shopping online sites, such as Etsy, where everything is handmade. I recently found some unique eco-friendly rings made from marble, concrete, and wood from jewelry designer Dionisis Chalikias which would be fun for bridesmaid gifts. Here are a few of my favorite pieces…

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                              Birch And Mahogany Bentwood Ring

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                                           Minimalist Concrete Ring     

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                                   Natural Walnut Bentwood Ring

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                                        Handmade Oak Wood Ring

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                                        Minimalist Concrete Ring

*** You can view more of the Dionisis Chalikias Jewelry Line here

Filed under jewelry rings bentwood rings wood rings handmade concrete rings fashion fashion accessories Bridesmaid Gift eco-friendly

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Cooking Trend: Silicone Bakeware

image                                    Chelsydale Silicone Cupcake Liners

Bakeware has come a long way over the past few years. Metal and glass have given up their spots as the state-of-the-art of baking in lieu of more temperature-stable silicone bakeware. Silicone bakeware is nonstick, flexible, and cooks very evenly, and it does it all using less oil, butter and shortening.

What is silicone bakeware?

Silicone bakeware is the newest technology in baking. Unlike metal or glass pans traditionally used for baking, silicone is a rubber-like material that is malleable and very user friendly. Silicone bakeware comes in wide array of options, including loaf pans, muffin liners, pie pans, bundt pans, cookie sheets, and casserole pans.

Silicone is also used to make cooking utensils, such as spatulas, and can also be used as pot holders.

Benefits of Silicone Pans

  • There are a number of characteristics that make silicone special but the most important is the ability to stand up to high temperatures without getting hot to the touch. With traditional bakeware and cooking tools, the user must wait until the pan cools down before it can be safely handled.
  • Silicone bakeware is non-stick. No greasing or parchment paper necessary! Which means healthier and less calories!
  • Because silicone heats evenly, muffins with blackened bottoms are a thing of the past.
  • No more fussing to remove cakes and breads from the pans. Silicone makes removal easy; with a gentle flexing of the pan, the cake will slide right out
  • It can be rinsed quickly and easily. Scrubbing isn’t required. Dishwasher safe.
  • Silicone can stand up to temperatures of 400 to 500 degrees F and won’t warp under the intense heat like a metal pan can. Silicone pans generally last longer than metal pans.
  • Flexible and lightweight material allows you to bend, twist and fold for easy and space-efficient storage.
  • Switching from parchment paper to a silicone baking mat reduces paper waste. These mats can be re-used many times!
  • Silicone baking mats can also be used in the freezer to freeze fruit and vegetables without them sticking to the pan.

image                                     Chelsydale Silicone Baking Mat

How to Use Silicone Pans

Whether trying out a silicone baking mat or a loaf pan, this bakeware is easy to use. It doesn’t need to be greased or floured to prevent sticking. Prepare the recipe as usual, and then place the silicone bakeware on top of a cookie sheet or wire rack. Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven. Bake as usual.

Remove the pan from the oven, lifting the metal rack or sheet out of the oven, not the silicone directly. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then gently flex the silicone pan and your muffins will easily pop out! 

NOTE: Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions before using new pans. Some pans come with a maximum temperature recommendation, and some can’t be used with serrated utensils. 

How to Clean Silicone Pans

One of the most frustrating things about baking can be cleaning and scrubbing the bakeware. Silicone makes cleaning up easy! Just rinse in the sink and gently rub with a dishcloth. Because the Silicone pans are non-stick, it won’t be necessary to scrub burnt bits off the bottom of the pan. Most silicone is dishwasher safe. 

Save Money & Eco-Friendly

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Re-usable silicone muffin liners are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable paper cups. 

Is silicone just for the oven?

While silicone is primarily used in the oven to create dinners and desserts, it can also be used in the microwave for fast cooking. Silicone pans are refrigerator-safe and freezer-safe and is very durable. A set of silicone bakeware will generally last longer than a similar set of metal or glass bakeware.

Filed under silicone muffin liners silicone mat silicone pans silicone bakeware

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The Magic of Preston Bailey

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His designs are grandiose, inspirational, sensational and jaw dropping. He’s designed grand celebrations for celebrities Jennifer Hudson, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Donna Karan, Liza Minnelli, Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the list goes on. Preston Bailey is not only a wedding designer, he’s an artist extraordinaire.  Every bride needs inspiration, and www.prestonbailey.com is one great source! Take a few minutes to peruse his website and I promise you’ll leave with amazing design ideas for your celebration.

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Filed under preston bailey wedding decor floral designs flowers centerpieces

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Runway Luxe Collection

Q.  I’m looking for some high quality baseball jerseys or tank tops for my bridesmaid!  I want my bridesmaids to wear the shirts the day of the wedding as we get ready. I would like to have my last name or a matching logo on them so we look like a wedding team in photos.  Any clue where to find some affordable designer shirts? Thanks Kathryn Moss : )

A. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! After a quick search,  I found the perfect designer shirts from the Runway Luxe Collection.

Here are some cute shirts ideas….

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This Team Moss Elite Jersey is made of a lightweight mesh with a v-neck cut, complete with bold front and back lettering. Would look cute with a pair of denim cutoffs. 

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This Lady Lux Racerback Tank is from the private label collection. Made fitted with a banded racerback and classic logo, you can rock this tank with jeans, shorts, leggings or tucked into your favorite leather skirt. 

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This sexy semi-sheer Lux Lady Crop Top would look great with your favorite skinny jeans or leggings. 

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Show some fashionista sass with a Boss Like Moss Baseball Tee

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This cute Lux Elite Hoodie brings a feminine feel to the classic hooded sweater. Made with an ultra soft knit so lightweight it’s almost sheer.


 You can view the entire Runway Luxe Designer Collection here

 

Filed under fashion runway lux designer clothing kate moss

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Watters 2014 Collection

Guilia Gown - This timeless full A-line gown features a hand-beaded Baraque lace bodice with modified sweetheart neckline. Features Spanish soft netting and a scalloped waistline. Sweep train.

Viv Gown - Gracefully sculpted Baroque lace, sleeveless sheath gown with illusion neckline and plunging back. Scalloped lace detail at neckline and hem. Puddle train.

Paola Gown - Dramatic platinum beading and hand embroidery detail contours the body. Heritage lace, sleeveless fit and flare gown complete with front and back v-neckline. Chapel train.

Santina -  Romantic A-line gown with illusion neckline and plunging back neckline. Features hand-placed Carina lace, covered buttons, and double-faced satin ribbon at waist. 

Farah Gown - A charming lace and tulle silk gown with an illusion bodice and lace appliques cascading down the skirt.

Salida Gown - Romantic Chantilly Lace with a lightly beaded bateau neckline

Kerry GownChantilly and corded lace with a stretch silk charmeuse slip dress. Feautures a sweetheart illusion neckline with figure accentuating hand placed lace appliques and elbow length sleeves

Benetta Gown - Romantic Torchon beaded lace and stretch silk charmeuse sheath gown. Elegant scalloped v-neckline with keyhole back and soft detail at the empire give this gown an ultra-feminine impression. Sweep train.

Leandra Gown - Vintage inspired,lace and stretch silk charmeuse, fit and flare gown showcases an illusion v-neckline and plunging back neckline with intricate scalloped lace detail. Beaded motifs cascade throughout the gown, and pearl buttons down the back. Sweep train.

Filed under wedding gown wedding dress gown watters gowns watters designer gowns

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Itsy Bitsy Spiders

image                                                 Handmade Black Spiders

Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with spiders and ladybugs. I used to collect them in old jars and try to sneak them into the house. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t share my love of bugs, and would yell at me in horror to get the bugs out of the house. 

So today I wanted to share with you my latest Etsy find: Spiderwood Hollow, which is a store dedicated to bugs.

Here are some of fun gift ideas….

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These lightweight Lady Bug Earrings would look cute with a black sweater.

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Spiderweb Stained Glass Sun Catcher would be a charming conversation piece for any decor.

image                                          Spider Web Pendant

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These Black And Red Hanging Spiders would be adorable for halloween. Or you could display them around your plants.

image                                                  Driftwood Spider

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These cute Lady Bugs can be be hung as ornaments or placed on your windowsills. You can also attach them to your window screens. 

You can see the entire Spiderwood Hollow line here

Filed under handmade spiders gifts ladybugs etsy jewelry bridesmaid gifts

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DIY: BOOK PLANTER WITH SUCCULENTS

Filed under diy succulents planters centerpiece

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A pearly white birdcage adds a romantic touch as a centerpiece or fun addition to the guest book table. Fill the cage with vibrant blooms for an extra special touch.

Filed under decor centerpiece

12 notes

Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

If you’ve ever had a Mexican wedding cookie, then you probably know how melt-in-your-mouth delicious they are. Similar to shortbread but with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground almonds mixed in, they are one of my very favorite baked treats.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Makes 30

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar for coating
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup ground almonds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground almonds to form your dough. Roll into 1-inch balls.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes, until golden on the bottom.
  4. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes only, and then coat with the remaining ¾ cup powdered sugar. You want the cookies to still be warm, or the sugar will not stick.

Voila! Simple to make, but so delicious.

*** A special Thank you to Lauren Conrad for sharing this recipe.



Filed under cookies recipe baking desserts snacks

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Vintage Weddings Are Becoming A Fashion Trend

image                                         Vintage 70’s Straw Hat

If there’s one wedding-planning challenge that rivals picking out the perfect wedding dress, it’s choosing dresses for your bridesmaids. While some brides may stick to tradition, choosing one dress style and color for everyone, it’s becoming increasingly popular to recycle vintage dresses, sometimes even in a variety of hues. Any why not? We all know the common complaint among bridesmaids is the requirement to purchase a dress they’ll most likely only wear once. Opting for a selection of dresses in varying silhouettes and colors not only allows you the opportunity to fit and flatter a variety of body types, but also adds interest at the alter and makes for compelling wedding day photos.

Here are some fun vintage clothing ideas from Vintage 4 Steppin Out…….

image                                Vintage 1960’s Black Drop Waist Dress

image                              1980’s Canary Yellow Designer Gown 

image                              1950’s Blue And White Gingham Dress

image                                 1970’s Cotton Candy Halter Dress 

image                                     60’s Peachy Parfait Sweater

You can view the entire line of clothing from Vintage 4 Steppin Out here

Filed under vintage retro vintage dress

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TREND: INCORPORATING WOOD INTO YOUR WEDDING DETAILS

As a form of uniquity and a nod to eco-chic, wood is proving to be a welcomed trend in the world of weddings. From wedding favors to centerpieces, wood is being used in its most organic element.

The following are some great ways you can embrace the romance and uniquity that wood conveys.

FUN GUEST BOOK ALTERNATIVE

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This Jenga Guest Book is a great alternative to a traditional guest book. Your guests will have fun signing their names and writing you messages on the wood blocks. After the wedding you will have a fun keepsake to remember your special day. Unlike the traditional guestbook which you would put away in a drawer after the wedding, this guestbook can be displayed as a special piece of artwork in your home. 

RING PILLOW ALTERNATIVE

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Rather than the traditional ring pillow, have your ring bearer carry a keepsake Wedding Ring Box. This ring box is hand crafted from Makha wood which is a rare hardwood found in the deciduous forests in Southeast Asia. (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma).
As this wood ages, it develops a beautiful patina of reddish tones. 

WEDDING FAVORS

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Soaps are always a popular wedding favor, but you can make yours stand out from the norm with these Hand Carved Flower Soaps. These scented soaps are packaged in beautiful balls made from mango wood and painted with a floral pattern or scene. Each soap ball has it’s own design.

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Soaps are available in bulk for wedding favors or as individual pieces for gifts.

WOOD CENTERPIECES

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This Rustic Tea Light Holder would be a great centerpiece alternative for those of you who do not want floral centerpieces. This is an unusual piece made out of a teak branch.

The disks can be rotated for different looks and can hold up to seven tea light candles.

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***  A special Thank you to Siam Styles for allowing us to use their product photos. You can see the entire line of Siam Styles here.

Filed under wedding ideas soaps gifts guest books wedding favors wood