Jul 19, 2017

Polaroid Guest Book Photo Album

This Polaroid guest book photo album is fun and refreshing - a cherished keepsake. American scientist Edwin Land invented the instant camera in 1948 because his young daughter complained, "Why can't I see the picture now?" I honestly didn't know you could still purchase a Polaroid camera - like a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera - a best seller on Amazon for $65 (available in smokey white, ice blue, flamingo pink and lime green). The reviews are really mixed on this camera and you'll need to decide if it's worth the cost to recreate this photo guest book idea (with 2 x 3 inch photos) for only one special event. The retro kraft photo corners shown below are also available on Amazon - 250 for just seven dollars and change.

Jul 12, 2017

Unforgettable Garden Wedding Table Settings

For me these garden wedding table settings are so stunning and something I won't soon forget. I want to dine on these gold-rimmed china plates near the beautiful pink and white azaleas we grow here in Virginia that were tricked into blooming early because of the heat. I want to drink Blackberry Merlot from golden vintage goblets under the shade of the flowering dogwood trees. An indoor reception makes you wonder - how long will this big party last? Do I need to order one more lemon drop martini ASAP before the bar shuts down and the band plays "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You"? An outdoor garden wedding reception suggests - stay and linger, breathe in the perfume of these red garden roses. This is the day of our dreams, so let's make these magic moments last.

Don't Miss!

Jul 10, 2017

Fruit Pizza - Easy Summer Dessert!

I was looking for the perfect fruit pizza, one I could serve at a summer bridal shower, birthday party or afternoon tea. If I had to make the crust from scratch using butter and flour and sugar and all the rest, and then whip up a big batch of homemade icing using powdered sugar, vanilla, more butter and milk - I wouldn't have the energy to make the chicken salad sandwiches or greet my guests. That's why I love this easy fruit pizza by Sunshine Crawford that you can customize with your own favorite summer fruits like the blueberries, kiwi and freshly sliced strawberries shown below.

Fruit Pizza Recipe

  • 1 packaged sugar cookie mix (I like Betty Crocker)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Prepare sugar cookie mix as directed and spread evenly on a slightly greased pizza pan.
3.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until crust is slightly brown around the outside.
4.  Beat softened cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
5.  Spread evenly on cooled cookie crust.
6.  Rinse fruit and let dry.
7.  Arrange fruit on top of cream cheese layer - starting on the outside in a circular pattern.

Don't Miss!

Jul 8, 2017

Romantic Silhouette Wedding Cake Toppers

Etsy has a beautiful variety of romantic silhouette cake toppers made from 1/8 inch black acrylic that will sit nicely on a five to eight inch top tier wedding cake. These are the three silhouette toppers that I love best - without the links - because these shops, they come and they go. And I don't like sending you on a wild goose chase. If you were both burning with desire and laughed yourself silly at Wesley and his quirky companions trying to rescue Princess Buttercup from the mean and sneaky Prince Humperdinck in one of the funniest adventure movies of all time, you'll love the Princess Bride Topper. Today I found two nearly identical black silhouette toppers - one for $40 (shown below) and another for thirteen dollars, as well as a plain "As You Wish" for just $11.99.

Bride and Groom Silhouettes on Bike - $50 from Silhouetteweddings
Batman and Bride Silhouette Topper - $15 to $20 at AcrylicDesignForYou

Princess Bride Wedding Cake Topper - also at Silhouetteweddings for $40
Don't Miss!

Jul 7, 2017

Rustic Best Day Ever Wedding Sign

I am obsessed with all things rustic, especially wedding welcome signs. It's a relatively new wedding trend and one I hope is here to stay. Usually you see a wood or chalkboard sign on Pinterest that reads "Best Day Ever" by itself or with the wedding date. These popular photos find their way onto Pinterest boards called chalkboard wedding signs, rustic wedding ideas, and country style weddings (surprisingly, this one not as much). One of those simple signs wasn't good enough for Julia and Brendan, whoever these two grateful lovers are. They wanted to make sure you felt their joy, their anticipation and their expectation that this day - September 25, 2015 - would not only be the best ever, even more so because you were there.

Don't Miss!

Jul 6, 2017

Root Beer Float Bar

I love this root beer float bar - and not just because my husband and I have gotten addicted to these delicious creamy drinks since the heat has withered our squash and wrecked havoc on our morning glories. For us it doesn't have to be A&W root beer and Breyer's vanilla bean ice cream. Any store brand of vanilla ice cream and even diet root beer will do. What a great and inexpensive summer wedding idea - one that kids will love and grown ups will be grateful for. Make an adult root beer float by pouring one shot of Smirnoff whipped cream vodka over ice in a tall glass, fill with root beer almost to the top and add a splash of half and half.

Jul 4, 2017

Limoncello Cupcakes from Cake Mix

Limoncello cupcakes from cake mix - because I love the taste of Italian lemon liqueur and was looking for the perfect summer bridal shower dessert. I wanted something sweet I could put together quick since one of my other most requested dishes (broccoli salad with raisins, sweet onions, shredded cheese, bacon and a mayonnaise-sugar-vinegar dressing) require attention in the kitchen from nine to around noon. I found this easy limoncello cupcake recipe at Betty Crocker using a SuperMoist white cake mix and just four more ingredients, including water. Homemade limoncello frosting is made in minutes with a light a simple combination of butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and lemon liqueur.

Easy Limoncello Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 box of Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello liqueur
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Limoncello
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees for a dark or a non-stick pan.
  • Beat cupcake ingredients on medium speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  • Fill 24 cupcake liners about two-thirds full.
  • Bake 18 to 23 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place cupcakes on cooling rack.
  • In a separate bowl beat the (softened) butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly beat in powdered sugar and Limoncello.
  • Frost cupcakes and garnish with sliced lemons. 
Don't Miss!

Jul 3, 2017

15 Unforgettable Rustic Wedding Ideas

All of these rustic wedding ideas are unforgettable for those lucky enough to be invited for this sacred day of celebration. To be greeted by "I have found the one whom my soul loves" from the Book of Solomon reinforces what we all know to be true. The promise of a deep and unconditional love that lasts a lifetime is one of the greatest spiritual gifts we will ever know. Any guests - old childhood friends and those you made since you started your new job - welcomed by a friendly, hand painted sign that says "We're So Glad You're Here!" - will think the warm greeting was meant just for them.

Don't Miss!

Jun 26, 2017

Delicious Blackberry Cocktails

Today I found this delicious blackberry cocktail recipe (also called Blackberry Bramble) at Feasting at Home where a talented, Washington state caterer named Sylvia turned an overabundance of this heart healthy fruit into a sweet and satisfying summer drink. And I need this now more than ever. Our scraggly, bent blackberry bush has finally decided to bear us beautiful black fruit after keeping us waiting five long years or six. Every morning my anxious husband bolts out the sliding glass door to claim the ripe blackberries before the neighborhood bunnies steal his precious loot. Only six ingredients are needed - most of which I already have on hand. I don't like the taste of gin, so I may want to switch out to vodka instead. I just found out blackberry liqueur (also known as crème de mure) may be expensive and hard to find, but you use very little in this recipe and should make it last.

Jun 19, 2017

Breathtaking Swiss Dot Wedding Cakes

Let me share with you one of the most beautiful wedding cakes I have ever seen. Including all of my own cakes, made and decorated in our little bakery in Virginia Beach, that I kid you not, was located near Virginia Wesleyan College on busy Baker Road. I never made something as exquisite as the swiss dot wedding cake with handmade buttercream roses and charming "Just Married" banner shown below, but the understated elegance steals my heart away. With or without the ivory roses, the pale peach color and perfectly placed dots make this unforgettable cake too breathtakingly beautiful to eat.

Don't Miss!

Jun 14, 2017

Succulent Aisle Decorations

I could make these sweet succulent aisle decorations now that I've finally mastered the science of planting my succulents in the hottest, most sunny spot in the backyard and refusing to give them a sip of water no matter how thirsty they look. I already have purple hydrangea growing along the back fence, that returns year after year in spite of my crappy track record as a gardener. I love the pale green shown here, but purple or blue would be just as stunning. Yellow "billy balls" (craspedia) are always for sale near the market check-out, although I understand they are easy to grow in at least six hours of sun, with little or no fertilizer and in all types of soil. The pink blooms look like alstroemeria (but I could be wrong), a cheap and readily available flower everywhere I shop. This unusual combination of blue, green, bright yellow and pink make this ordinary white chair look breathtakingly beautiful and perfect for a succulent themed wedding.

Don't Miss!

Jun 11, 2017

Peacock Themed Mason Jar Centerpieces

These peacock themed mason jar centerpieces that I found on Pinterest today are so breathtaking, I hardly know what to say. It's also the combination of artificial flowers - variegated burgundy roses, pale green hydrangea, white gerbera daisies and small green hypericum berries that make these DIY wedding centerpieces look expensive and elegant. These quart sized (regular mouth) Kerr Mason jars are available in sets of 12 for less than ten dollars on Amazon. The flowers - unless you use freshly picked blooms and greenery from your own precious garden - are your only real expense.

Don't Miss!

May 26, 2017

Rustic Memorial Wedding Display

I fell in love today. With this rustic memorial wedding display. It seems simple enough to make - with weathered wood, a small black chalkboard, some twine and mini clothespins. We live in a time where our extended families aren't scattered close together like chocolate chips in a freshly baked Toll House cookie. But it wasn't always this way. My husband's grandparents had a large, three story house on Orleans Street in Lowell, Massachusetts. Even after the youngest girl was proudly sent off to nursing school, the children (now married) returned to live with their parents and an odd assortment of very old aunts they barely knew. That intimacy - of loving and being loved - on a daily basis by aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents may be lost to some of us today. Many are gone before we have a chance to say goodbye. Keep your sweet memories alive with a thoughtful "Until we meet again" memorial photo display.

Summer Bridal Shower Idea - DIY Tart Station

What a refreshing summer bridal shower idea - both affordable and fun. I found it today at a blog called Sandy Toes and Popsicles and you can follow the link below to find all the details. The mini graham cracker crusts are available in packs of six for less than $2.00 at Walmart and the possibilities for fresh fruit are endless. I wouldn't use bananas as shown below unless you want to dip them in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. The same holds true for apples. Peaches, mangoes, cantaloupe, seedless red grapes and even watermelon would be perfect to make a delicious fruit tart. And don't forget the cherries!


Don't Miss!

May 19, 2017

13 Exquisite Vintage Wedding Ideas

Even if you weren't dreaming of a vintage themed wedding, some of these breathtakingly beautiful ideas may make you think twice. Some - to be fair - are outside of your budget and mine (sheer panels and Swarovski crystal chandeliers you might expect to find in the grand ballroom at Buckingham Palace), but others (thrift store books, picture frames and tins) are easy and affordable to make and find. To make a simple Mason jar centerpiece even more exquisite, Krylon now makes glass spray paint in a range of beautiful frosted colors - aqua, ruby, cornflower, sea foam and rose.

Vintage Wedding Ideas

Champagne and passion fruit nectar - deal me in.
Last year I picked up a set of vintage hurricane lamps just like these
at a church rummage sale for about a dollar each!

I'm obsessed about paying homage to those
who loved, nurtured and prepared us
for the most important day of our lives.
Don't Miss!