Dec 31, 2013

Silk and Lace Hair Flowers

Dainty and delicate, these romantic lace bridal hair flowers will compliment any and every bridal hair style. They are cut by hand, carefully sculpted one by one. Shown here in ivory (white also available), approximately two inches in diameter, with stunning 6.5 mm Swarovski crystal centers. Choose freshwater pearl centers - if pearls are your passion like mine! Bronze or black U pins keep these secured to your hair so comfortably you hardly feel them at all. Expect to pay $49 for a set of three plus $6.95 for shipping. Yes, you can find lace hair flowers for less, but these are lovingly handcrafted by a professional fiber artist, skilled at transforming beautiful and semi-translucent silk into feminine lace flowers you can wear again and again.


Dec 15, 2013

Indian Wedding Lehenga Choli

How much do you know about the amazing silk embroidered wedding lehenga choli worn by brides from India and Pakistan? Traditionally, silk and chiffon lehengas came with a large variety of beautiful embroidered embellishment called Zardosi - using thread made of fine gold or silver (zari) - delicately woven into Indian, Pakistani and Persian garments. Today, of course, zari is not made of real gold and silver, but is a golden/silver metallic yarn interlaced with polyester. The results are just as rich. Here are three garments normally associated with Indian bridal lehengas:
  • Lehenga.  The lehenga is a long, flared skirt which is heavily embroidered and pleated. It is worn by Indian brides and party-going women as the bottom portion of a lehenga choli. Unlike the sari, a lehenga is a pre-stitched skirt that doesn't have to be draped - perfect for the dance floor!   
  • Choli.  The choli is a sensual, tightly fitting embroidered blouse usually with short sleeves and a low neck.  If you're thinking that Barbara Eden looked her beautiful blonde best wearing a pink chiffon choli in "I Dream of Jeannie" you would be right. Today the choli is becoming more adventurous than ever - with revealing styles such as backless, halter, tube top and spaghetti straps.
  • Dupatta.  The dupatta is a lovely, long scarf that is worn together with the lehenga and the choli.  It is often heavily embroidered and has a contrasting colored border.  Originally worn as a symbol of modesty, it can be draped over the head and shoulders in many breathtakingly beautiful ways.
brick red lehenga choli

red bridal lehenga choli

Indian wedding clothes

Dec 10, 2013

Messages of Gratitude for your Wedding Program

Maybe it's because I'm so grateful for what I have, for being able to write about weddings - sweet celebrations of love - but also about a massive bridal industry that used to be more cuddly than complex.  It's good to remind ourselves that our parents are worth more than a vintage inspired satin and lace wedding dress by Claire Pettibone ($26,000) or an overnight stay in the Four Seasons Resort on the lovely island of Bora Bora ($1,780).  It's been a passion and a pleasure writing about weddings for the last 20 years, and in that spirit, I share these messages of gratitude with you today. 


A special thank you to our parents - for loving us, nurturing us and helping us grow into adults with happy hearts full of love and laughter.  You set a great example for us with your unconditional love and praise.  Your tender devotion allowed us to grow up into the mature man and woman we are today, ready to love and be loved.

On this most important day of our lives, we honor our parents, brothers and sisters, and extended family and friends.  Your joy, your enthusiasm and your presence fills our hearts with love as we promise each other a lifetime of harmony and humility.  We are blessed that you made this journey with us - a pledge to be true and faithful - as long as we both shall live.

Because of all of you, this sacred day of sweet love has exceeded all of our expectations.  In the presence of God we accept your good and beautiful blessings and commit ourselves to each other forever.  In good times and bad, we promise to remember the cherished day we spent with you, as we vowed to love, share and sacrifice.  Your blessing is a great and wonderful gift.

We welcome our warm and wonderful families with humble hearts.  Everything we are, we owe to your big hearts and open arms.  Our extended family - ready to take on travel and traffic to witness this sacred day of joy.  Our friends - people who were once strangers but decided they would rather be great listeners, coaches and caretakers.  Thank you for blessing us, with your unconditional love, a kindness and devotion that makes this sacred day even more special.

We are here today to pledge our love - a love that will see us through days of joy and seasons of sorrow.  We gather our strength from our loving families and friends - some who couldn't make it here today but are a happy memory in our hearts.  We are blessed beyond measure to have you witness the first day of our incredible journey, a journey of eternal love from this day forward.

Dec 9, 2013

Bridal Shower Desserts - Easy Oreo Truffles

Bridal shower desserts - here is one so effortless, you simply can't resist.

Three simple ingredients - Oreo cookies, cream cheese and semi-sweet baking chocolate, lovingly shaped into (42 one inch) walnut-sized balls and dipped in light chocolate or dark.

If you want to cut down on the calories and fat content, use low fat cream cheese (nearly 90% of the calories from regular cream cheese comes from fat - the saturated kind - so steer clear whenever possible.)

You'll never notice the difference in taste, I promise you.

Refrigerate truffles up to one hour before dipping in semi-sweet, white or dark melted chocolate. Who wouldn't want to serve (or snack on) a decadent dessert as easy and elegant as these no-bake chocolate truffles.
  • 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted 
1.  Put nine of the Oreos in a food processor, making fine crumbs, and set aside for later use.  Crush the remaining 36 cookies and place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 walnut sized balls, about 1 inch in diameter.

2.  Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

3.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover chocolate truffles in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

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Dec 6, 2013

Engraved I Love You Stones

Engraved I Love You Stones - how thrilled would you be to receive a gift such as this? A smooth beach stone, carefully engraved with the romantic messages we are eager to see and hear. I love you more. I love you to the moon and back. At about $16 each, these magnificent little mementos will take from 8 to 10 days to create - larger orders (engraved wedding favors) can take up to two months. A very small price to pay for the one that sets your heart on fire.

How are they made? Each 2 1/2 inch stone is carefully selected. A stencil is prepared and attached. Each letter is carved one by one. A sandblaster powered by air provides intricate details and precision. They are washed and prepared and ready for gift giving - wedding, engagement, anniversary, hostess or housewarming. A gift from Mother Earth's tender embrace that doesn't overwhelm with plastic and packaging.

These engraved stones with their simple sentiments reflect the ancient art of stone carving, which was once reserved only for the rich.  Now we can all enjoy the timeless messages they deliver.  Stones, whether large or small are symbols of strength, permanence, durability, immortality, and harmony - all the things we normally associate with those we love the most.

engraved stones
i love you to the moon and back
engraved gifts for mom

Dec 4, 2013

Personalized Carved Wedding Signs

How much is the right amount to spend on a wedding gift? According to The Knot, if it's the wedding of a co-worker or someone you socialize with only now and then, you should spend at least $75 to $100 on the wedding present. But in reality, most of us spend $79 or less. That's why this personalized carved wedding sign - priced at less than $65 - will fit comfortably in your budget and do double duty as a cherished family heirloom. Here's what you'll receive with this stylish, one of a kind personalized wedding gift:
  • Beautifully carved last and first names and wedding date.  If you would rather have your first names used as the background and a special phrase across the front, they would be happy to carve something amazing just for you!
  • Each carved last name sign is embellished with a two toned stain finish and given a coat of protective sealant to last forever.  Two saw tooth hangers on the back allow you to hang this amazing family work of art over a doorway or display on a shelf or family room bookcase. 
  • Real wood can be just as quirky as you and me.  If you see a piece of wood with a perfect grain chances are it's not a piece of sturdy pine.  Pine has knots and grains that run throughout, giving it character and personality.  These signs are no different.  Expect to see the rustic beauty and blemishes and learn to love them all.
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