Charming burlap and daisy wedding cake
Charming burlap and daisy wedding cake
How do you take a casual board game like Scrabble and make it E-L-E-G-A-N-T? Cheryl Weise of CW distinctive DESIGNS used lace, burlap and an all white color palette for her Shabby Chic Scrabble Inspired Wedding Dessert Table! Incredible desserts and classic candy on a handcrafted ruffle tablecloth add even more sweetness to a very special day. :)
– Themed “Love” Scrabble tile cookies
– White candy in apothecary jars with graphic lace cards
– Burlap flowers, “Sweets” bunting and dessert table runner
*** Special Thank you to The Hostess With The Mostess for sharing this fun bridal shower.
Coke party favors are perfect for a hot summer day. This would be an easy DIY project - simply make a tag, add a fun striped straw, and tie with a ribbon…viola…cuteness!
It’s all in the details. Some might say that attaching a tag to your dinner party guest’s cutlery that wishes them ‘bon appetit’ is gratuitous nonsense. I, on the other hand, live for this stuff.
You know you do too.
*** Very special thank you to Eat Drink Chick for sharing this free download.
We get asked about bridesmaid dresses all the time, where to find them, what the dos and don’ts are, and of course every bride wants to know about the latest trends. The good news is that nowadays anything goes, and as a result we are seeing some very cute and creative bridesmaid outfits.
My advice is to make sure the dresses you choose suits the style of your wedding, that it complements your dress, and that you involve your bridesmaid to some degree. After all you want them to feel comfortable.
Florals are a popular trend this year. Reason? Floral fabrics are always fresh and pretty and can be worn again. Your bridesmaids will love you forever if you allow them a lovely girly party dress.
Talking of party dresses, vintage inspired bridesmaid dresses are charming and timeless. Think colors and feminine silhouettes. With period dramas like Downton Abbey and Mad Men showcasing the glamour of bygone decades, vintage is making a big comeback.
Gone are the days of perfectly matching bridesmaids outfits. Choose a different dress for each bridesmaid, one that will complement their personality and body type They’ll feel great all day in a dress that suits them.
White Or Cream Bridesmaid Dresses
We’re seeing a lot of white bridesmaids dresses, inspired of course by the beautiful Alexander McQueen number worn by Pippa Middleton at the royal wedding. White dresses are clean and elegant, and a stylish statement indeed.
Bright Pops Of Color
Bright-colored bridesmaid can look fabulous in contrast to your white gown, and the bridesmaid bouquets can be matched to the dresses for maximum effect. We are loving the really strong colors. It’s vibrant and fun, perfect for a summer wedding.
Wedding foods have always been elegantly plated, but sometimes they’re too big of a bite for the young guests. The solution to this problem: serve mini foods that are perfectly bite sized for children of all ages! They’ll be amused with taking a bite out of the cute miniature foods and drinks. And you can even serve up these delightful treats as fun appetizers for grown-ups if you want to present mess-free finger foods.
Traditionally, rehearsal dinners were thrown the night before the ceremony after the bride, groom, and their wedding party had walked through the paces of the next day. But today those customs have expanded. Many people choose to start off the festivities with a get-together that includes everyone.
Whether you choose to go big (dinner!), small (cocktails and light bites), casual (no shoes!), or fancy (killer shoes), just make it your own.
You may have toiled over the look and feel of your ceremony and reception, but keep it simple — and different — for your welcome event: Design a party that’s nothing like your wedding but still represents you and your groom. Think of this fete as your wedding’s playful alter ego: Use any quirky ideas or inspiration that may not have been wedding appropriate.
The goal is to leave everyone wanting more at the end of the evening (and not feeling wrecked the next morning). So begin on the early side. I’m a big fan of the four-hour event. After that, something starts to break down. This gives people plenty of time to meet and have some laughs, and you can get to bed at a decent hour. It’s also sweet when the bride leaves her own party to get ready. It steeps the whole event in the importance of the day to follow. End on a high note, and everyone will anticipate the good times ahead.
The quickest way to get the party started is to give your guests what they want: a drink. It loosens people up and helps ease them into vacation mode. Signature cocktails are always hits, as are interactive setups, like Champagne pyramids at a cocktail party or do-it-yourself Bloody Marys for a brunch.
Without a doubt, foods that are indigenous to the area are always high quality and big crowd-pleasers. You can have a miniature panini bar for a Mediterranean locale, for example, a make-your-own conch ceviche station for a Bahamian party, or a “fresh catch” table stocked with local fish for waterfront festivities. If you want to have a seated meal, vary the serving styles to keep things casual. Start with a plated first course followed by a family-style entree and a buffet dessert.
All of your loved ones are finally in one place, and many of them have probably heard about, but never met, one another. To speed the friendship building process, offer an activity that takes the cocktail-conversation pressure off and lets them mingle naturally, like a scavenger hunt, horseshoes, cornhole, or bocce.
Planning your wedding may seem overwhelming at first, but fear not, as it can be done with a little organization! We hope this wedding planning checklist helps keep you on top of your to do’s before you say I do!
I will admit I am one of those types of people who adore their dogs to the point of treating them like children. (Lexi and I in above photo).
I recently found a great Etsy site called Nature And Nauticals which sells hand-made pet keepsake boxes and memorials. These would be great bridesmaid and wedding gifts for any animal lover.
Who wouldn’t love to receive this vintage style Pet Keepsake Box dedicated to their favorite dog or cat.
Your pet’s photo is digitally painted and the ink is transferred onto a distressed wood surface so that the texture comes through the photo.
This Pet Portrait Plaque is a beautiful work of art celebrating your pet, and would be perfect for a wall or mantle.
You can personalize a plaque with your pet’s name, life dates, or other text of your choice. This is a wonderful way to memorialize a beloved pet.
A Memorial Box is also available….
These are just a few examples of the products Nature and Nauticals offers. They can turn ANY photo into a work of art and transfer the ink to a keepsake box or plaque, ACEO magnets (great wedding favors), or even coasters.
Heat oven to 400°F. Combine butter, sugar, egg and extract in mixer. Blend at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour and salt; and blend at low speed until well mixed. Divide and tint dough, if desired.
To make Rose Cookie Spritz, insert a 1M or 2D tip into pastry bag. Fill bag with cookie dough. I found that if the dough was a bit warm (as in heated by the warmth from my hands) it was easier to pipe out these cookies.
Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until slightly golden.
To make Strawberry Spritz Cookies:
Replace vanilla extract with 1/4 teaspoon strawberry. Tint dough with pink gel food coloring.
To make Chocolate Spritz Cookies:
Replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa. Do not use almond extract.
Cream butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium until butter is light and fluffy.
Add in almond extract.
Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time.
Once fully combined, gently fold the marshmallow creme into the frosting.
Tips for success:
Do not chill the dough. You will need it about room temperature for easier piping.
This is a basic recipe, with no major alterations. If you end up adding more liquid the cookies will definitely spread and you will not have a defined shape.
Piping it through a large star tip should be the same experience as using a cookie press.
I would make the chocolate dough separately and not try to divide one recipe into three. If you do so the proportions will be off and the cookies will spread.
A reader suggested using a smaller amount in your piping bag to help it warm quicker and to allow for easier piping. I had about 2-3 cups of dough in my pastry bag, but can see how using 1 cup at a time might be easier!
** Recipe & photo credit: I Am Baker
I will be honest I never had an actual weight problem but it seems like I have been on some sort of diet since I was around 12 years old. My sister was a ballet dancer and naturally thin so that added to my weight obsession. For years I would go on all these crazy starvation diets to maintain my weight.
A few years ago I met a trainer at the gym who taught me how to get off the diet roller coast and maintain my desired weight. This will sound obvious but the trick to weight loss is to simply cut the fat from your body. Yes I know, easier said than done!!!
Here are the top 3 fat burning foods to trim your belly and hips.
Getting an adequate amount of daily protein will do wonders for your body. It will help in developing lean muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have than fat, the more fat you will automatically burn off (muscle burns fat). Also protein will help you feel fuller after meals so you will be less likely to nibble between meals.
The best high protein foods are:
If you want to burn off fat and lose weight, then fiber is going to be your best friend! Fiber is considered a miracle nutrient as it absorbs water to create a sense of being full, so you’re less likely to overeat. It will also boost your metabolism, detoxify your body naturally, and improve your digestive system.
The best foods I recommend that are high in fiber are:
Unfortunately, most people don’t eat a high fiber diet so supplementing your diet with fiber supplements such as Skinny Fiber can be beneficial to your weight control. (Please see Skinny Fiber video at the end of blog)
3.) Healthy Fats
Did you know that you are actually supposed to be eating fats in order to burn fats? I know right! That messed me up too when I first found out about it! Anyway, in order to effectively melt away inches, you must get plenty of good fats in your diet. Good fats are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and Omega Fatty Acids.
Bad fats that you should significantly reduce are saturated fats, and the fat that you should run far away from like an Eskimo in the Sahara Desert is the evil trans fat!
Great foods I recommend that contain plenty of healthy fats:
*TAKE THE SKINNY FIBER 90 DAY CHALLENGE
From the second you receive your “Will you be my Bridesmaid” invitation or have been asked over a celebratory drink, you’re on the clock (well not literally) and your bridesmaid duties begin. So start off on the right foot with these helpful tips:
1. Probably the most important piece of advice is: be patient. Wedding planning brings all sorts of stresses, so you need to be the calm in the midst of all the wedding madness. Be the bride’s second in command (within reason), she will be overwhelmed by the huge amount of decisions – you need to be the voice of reason.
2. Be gracious and tactful when it comes to choosing bridesmaid dresses, especially if there are a few bridesmaids to cater for. It may not be your dress of choice but it’s only one day in a lifelong friendship, so play the diplomat.
3. Plan The Best Bachelorette Party ever! Not only is this a time to celebrate your best friend, but you also get to blow off a bit of steam in the process! Planning the bachelorette party can be a tricky undertaking. My top tip is to know your audience, a few embarrassing photos and stories is more than enough for most people. Don’t go down the awkward “His and Her” questions and hire a stripper for your shy and easily embarrassed friend! She won’t be impressed, not to mention her Mom and soon to be Mother-in-Law!
4. Encourage her to use Pinterest for inspiration and ideas. Working together to create mood boards will help refine her ideas and explain the look of the wedding when talking to florists/bakers/decor/stylist etc. And it’s fun!
5. No doubt you will visit the wedding venue once or twice so build a relationship with the staff so that they know who you are if there is something to be taken care of on the day.
6. So many people are living abroad these days, for friends and family that are unable to attend the wedding, organize a message via email or video to be read to the couple during the speeches. They will love it!
It’s been a whirlwind planning process but the wedding day has finally arrived! Fingers crossed everything runs smoothly, but of course things are guaranteed to go wrong, so this is your day to shine! Stick to these helpful tips and you’re going to be thanked a lot in the speeches…
7. The morning of the wedding is going to be a hustle and bustle of excitement, laughter and tears but it’s also going to be crazy! Organize a get-together for the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride to have their hair and makeup done. Give everyone their time slots so there is no confusion, drama or delays!
8. The bridal prep is a very emotional time, create a calm environment from the start to keep the nerves at bay.
9. It is so important to have a bridal kit on the day. Something is guaranteed to go wrong so having safety pins/ plasters/sewing kit/chalk/tissues etc. is a must – you can thank me after the button holding it altogether pops off!
10. Be on makeup and lipstick alert all day. The makeup artist will be long gone so it’s up to you to keep the blushing bride, well, blushing!
11. If your bride has taken the time to have a DIY wedding, her part should stop the night before. It’s up to you and your fellow bridesmaids (and helpful friends) to make sure all the decor details are in place.
12. Make sure everyone, from friends to great aunts, is ok and enjoying themselves on the day. There is so much going on for the bride and groom it will be reassuring to know everyone is being taken care of and you’ll be the remembered by everyone for it!
13. Be the first one to join them on the dance floor. It’s a party after all!
Phew! So it may seem like your life is overtaken but remember she chose you to be her bridesmaid, the most important person (second to her groom) to share in all the fun and craziness of her big day. I know I wouldn’t want to miss my sister’s wedding planning and big day for anything.
Black Hills Gold jewelry is a unique American art form. Its creation was inspired by the beauty and symbolism of nature in the graceful images of grape vines, leaves and clusters, and rendered in three colors of genuine gold. This design was first captured in the mid-1800’s by craftsmen in the gold rush camps of the American West. Eventually it spread to its permanent home in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
What makes a piece of jewelry Black Hills Gold?
It has the unique traditional design comprised of pink and green gold leaves, gold grape clusters and vines and it must, by law, be manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
How are the green and pink-colored gold leaves made?
Pure 24 karat yellow gold is alloyed with silver to create the vibrant green, and is alloyed with copper to make the dazzling pink. The resulting alloy is a more durable 12 karat gold.
What karat is Black Hills Gold?
Nearly all pieces, regardless of manufacturer, are comprised of 10 karat yellow gold (ring shanks, pendant and earring bases), 12 karat pink and green gold (leaves, roses, hearts, butterflies etc..), 14 karat gold earring posts and complimentary gold-filled (1/20 12 karat) 18” chains for pendants. Select wedding sets are made with 14 karat gold shanks, and some companies even offer white gold for the ring shanks.
All Black Hills Gold jewelry is a unique art form made the way it was originally created over a century ago - by hand. No two pieces are alike. Each piece reflects the great pride and craftsmanship of talented artisans whose skills were taught by our predecessors over 100 years ago.
Will Black Hills Gold Tarnish? Can it be cleaned?
Because the pink/red and green Black Hills Gold leaves are created by alloying with other metals like copper and silver, tarnishing can occur over time. Hand lotions, cosmetics and hairsprays contain substances that may darken the surface, so it is recommended that jewelry be put on last. Many people find the patina appealing, lending an antique appearance to their pieces. Others may prefer to keep it looking brand new, and this can be done by regular cleaning.
What is the best way to clean Black Hills Gold?
Using a soft toothbrush and warm, sudsy water with a small amount of ammonia is good way to regularly clean your Black Hills Gold. However, be very careful when cleaning items with opals, pearls and stones — the compounds used to mount these settings may be weakened by prolonged soaking. Due to their delicate nature, opals, pearls and stones could sustain damage from careless handling.
Gypsies traveling through South Dakota in the 1950’s started a legend which says, ”To one who wears the Black Hills Gold, good luck and fortune will unfold.”
*** A very Special Thank You to Black Hills Gold Source for inspiring this blog and allowing us to use their photos.
You can see their entire Black Hills Gold line here: http://www.blackhillsgoldsource.com/
Here is a sample of a few gorgeous Black Hills Gold Rings
I love this Black Hills Gold Bridal Set http://www.blackhillsgoldsource.com/product/wedding-set-02542sd
Black Hills Gold Birthstone Ring is perfect for any mom. http://www.blackhillsgoldsource.com/product/mothers-ring-d2251
The other day I heard Dr. Oz talk about Yacon Syrup as a healthy organic sugar substitute. I know you’re a vegan and into organic foods so I was wondering if you have ever heard of it before? I am trying to lose weight for my wedding by cutting calories and wonder if a natural sugar substitute might help. What do you think?
All natural Yacon syrup is becoming popular in the health and wellness community. It is derived from the root of yacon, a plant that is originally from the Andean valleys in South America. The root has a sweet taste similar to fruit, so it is often made available in syrup form and usually used as a sweetener. But, unlike other sweeteners, it is very low on the glycemic index scale. The glycemic index is a measurement of how fast blood sugar levels go up after eating a certain food. Moreover, the syrup has been proven to have various health benefits.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Since Yacon syrup is very low on the glycemic index scale this makes it an ideal alternative to sugar for diabetics and anyone looking to eliminate sugar from their diet. The main reason for it’s ability to lower blood sugar is that it contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS), the natural sweetener which the body is not able to easily break down. Because it is not metabolized or broken down, it goes through the digestive system and it does not provide calories to the body.
Natural Weight Loss
The syrup’s low glycemic index can also help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and making you feel full for longer periods after meals. In fact, a study published in Clinical Nutrition found that the subjects (overweight women) who took three to four teaspoons of the syrup per day for 150 days lost an average of thirty-three pounds and three inches from their waistlines.
Moreover, Yacon syrup improves digestive health as it also acts as a prebiotic. This means that it stimulates good bacteria in the stomach, improving digestion and immune system. In addition, it has been found to have “washout effect” as it allows regular elimination of waste from the body.
Dental Health - Because Yacon Syrup does not contain sucrose, it will help your overall dental health.
For more information on the benefits please of Yacon Syrup please visit: http://goldsourcelabs.com/pure-yacon-syrup
For a somewhat less traditional take on wedding favors, try these cute and quirky candy boxes in the style of miniature milk cartons!
FOR THIS PROJECT YOU WILL NEED:
Print out the design template on your color printer. I’ve deliberately removed the cut/fold lines on the design template as it would show on your final carton so please use this milk carton template from Mirkwood Designs as a reference for where to fold and cut on your actual design template.
Using your ruler and scalpel, gently score along the fold lines, that are indicated by the dotted lines on your reference, on your printed template then crop your template out and cut along cutting lines that are indicated by solid lines on your reference. Please make sure you score first because once you’ve cut out your template you will no longer be able to see the guide lines around the edge that I’ve included as a visual aid for where the fold/cut lines should be.
Fold into carton. This should be fairly easy to work out. Use double-sided tape (or glue) to stick the bottom flaps together and close your carton.
Fill up your carton with candy. Probably the most appropriate candy would be milk bottles! In the center of the top tab of your carton, use your punch to create a round hole then use a white brad to secure it shut.
***A Special Thank You to Eat, Drink & Chic for sharing this fun printable