Dec 13, 2008

Bridal Barbies

Barbie has all the luck. She's a hair shy of 50 (as of this writing) and if she were a real woman, would weigh 110 pounds and measure in at 39-18-33.  Although it appears that this year, Barbie is being made in a slightly less sexy size. Guess whose beating down her dainty plastic door to design couture bridal gowns for our favorite childhood friend? No less than top bridal designers Vera Wang, Bob Mackie, Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, and Caroline Herrera. Monique, I hope you create an elegant grown up version of the lace ball gown with satin bow and rhinestone flower brooch!

Barbie Wedding Ball Gown by Monique Lhuillier

Barbie Wedding Dress by Caroline Herrera

Barbie Wedding Gown by Reem Acra

Nov 23, 2008

Wedding Cake Cookies

Baking these charming wedding cake cookies will be the easy part. It's the tiny dots that will have you chained in the kitchen from morning till midnight. That's why these would make the perfect bridal shower cookies - 12 or so (as shown here) to impress the girls over buttery French croissants and chamomile tea. Your favorite sugar cookie and royal icing recipes, three sizes of small round cookie cutters and cake decorating bags and tips will be all you need to get the job done. Here is a great step by step tutorial on how to make these stacked wedding cake cookies.

stacked wedding cake cookies

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Nov 13, 2008

Cheap Bridesmaid Dress Ideas

Cheap bridesmaid dresses - not in my day, but a new (better) day is dawning. My youngest daughter Danielle was getting married in April on a Saturday morning before noon. Always the thoughtful one, she wanted and needed affordable bridesmaid dresses for her friends - something classic and chic. She found perfectly beautiful black cocktail dresses online at Target for less than $50 each. The girls looked sexy and sensational. Today I found these two styles (among several others) of chiffon bridesmaid dresses at Target online for only $69.99. These are fully lined, machine-washable and available in six popular colors.
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Nov 4, 2008

Black Wedding Gowns

Black wedding gowns - seductive and sensational! We may have a slightly guarded relationship with the women of Paris, but there's no denying they have fun breaking all the rules. It's been said that French women don't even try. Don't try to impress anyone or please anyone or feel pressure to look good. They rise early, wear very little make up and go to clubs to dance, not drink. And it feels like they can eat all the pastry cream filled profiteroles they want without gaining an ounce. Their simple taste in fashion and haute-couture ("high dressmaking") refers to custom-fitted clothing with bold colors, expensive fabric and extreme attention to details, like this elegant black ruffled wedding gown.

black ruffled wedding dress
French Wedding Terms
  • Wedding marriage
  • Bride and groom mariee et marie
  • Mother of the bride mere de la mariee
  • Wedding cake gateau de marriage
  • Photographer photographe
  • Guests invites
  • Bouquet bouquet
  • Wedding veil voile de mariee
  • Vows voeux
  • Flowergirl fille de fleur
  • Centerpieces pieces maitresses
  • Maid of honor bonne d’honneur
  • Bachelor party partie de celibataire
  • Wedding favors faveurs de marriage
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Nov 3, 2008

Beach Theme Wedding Cakes

Beach theme wedding cakes - especially popular here in the resort city of Virginia Beach, with our white sandy beach, free evening concerts ("Symphony by the Sea") and three-mile boardwalk. I invite you to get married on the beach or have your honeymoon here. Try and come before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. Same great weather. Less traffic. Better parking. Cheaper souvenirs. Our well-loved Neptune Festival, Boardwalk Art Show and International Sand Sculpting Championship are all at the end of September. That oceanfront hotel room that went for $179 in July will now be available when the kids go back to school for so much less, you'll be glad you came.

white beach themed wedding cake
 blue ocean themed wedding cake

starfish themed wedding cake

blue and white beach themed cake
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Oct 27, 2008

Ethnic Inspired Wedding Dresses

Therez Fleetwood started designing bridal patterns in 1996 to reflect a more diverse collection of exotic ethnic inspired wedding dresses and headpieces using beads, embroidery, feathers, cowrie shells and lace. All of these stunning headpieces can be ordered separately, and made to order according to the bride’s specifications. Also up for negotiation are the color, fabric, and trims that compliment each custom made African style wedding dress.

Chiffon veil with satin trim and cowrie shell embellishments.

Silk shantung fitted cap with ‘V’ shaped front. Cowrie shell adornments
and detachable tulle veil. 3" height. Fully lined.

100% silk shantung hat. Embellished with cowrie shells, feather and decorative pin.

Oct 11, 2008

Groom’s Cake Ideas

Groom's cake ideas - all of these have a colorful baseball or football theme. The ones that require specialty cake pans are the football, baseball hat and helmet. The Yankees and Texas Ranger groom's cakes prove you can still make the magic happen with ordinary round shaped cake pans. Traditional groom's cakes were made with dark chocolate and covered with chocolate covered strawberries. All of these except for the first is made with fondant icing - smooth and silky - with professional looking results. Whip up a batch of homemade buttercream icing (Wilton's recipe is the best I've ever tasted), buy yourself some disposable cake decorating bags and star shaped metal tips, and you can design a sports themed groom's cake similar to the chocolate Yankees cake shown below.

Redskins groom's cake
Texas Rangers groom's cake

Buffalo Bills groom's cake

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Oct 7, 2008

Wedding Cupcake Cakes

Wedding cupcake cakes - so sweet, so simple, so appealing to both young and young at heart. Depending on whether you buy or bake them yourself, it might be the best money saving wedding idea of all time. Here is why it makes good sense to choose cupcakes over traditional wedding cakes:
  • Pay about three dollars per cupcake compared to $5 to $15 for traditional wedding cake.
  • Save on cake cutting fees charged by caterers and banquet facilities.
  • Less cleanup for casual or outdoor weddings.
  • Make them weeks in advance and put them in the freezer in air tight containers.
  • Pick them up at your local bakery and save on delivery and set up fees.
  • Find inexpensive cupcake liners at almost any grocery store.
  • Cupcake towers are attractive and easy to decorate.
  • Guests that want to take their dessert home will find it easy and convenient.
  • Save leftovers, put them in your freezer, and use them for other special occasions.

red and white wedding cupcakes
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Oct 3, 2008

Maggie Sottero Wedding Gowns

What do all these classic Maggie Sottero wedding gowns have in common?  Lovely, delicate and comfortable cap sleeves.  To be honest, very few of us have perfectly toned upper arms.  In a perfect world we would.  Until that time I say - welcome back sexy little sleeves!  The first of my three favorites is a fairytale chic organza ballgown (shown below in ivory) but also available in white.  It has a shimmering Swarovski crystal bodice, accented with an illusion bateau neckline and finished with signature corset back closure.

A soft tulle overlay shimmers over this delicate lace sheath creating an ethereal aesthetic, while a Swarovski crystal embellishment sparkles at the waistline. A deep V-neckline edged in lace and feminine cap sleeves adds sophistication and glamour to this beautifully draped gown.

This stretch satin fit and flare skirt has a comfortable yet romantic lure with a stretched net illusion neckline and embellished lace cap sleeves, complete with a zipper and crystal button closure.
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Sep 25, 2008

Mae West Quotes about Men and Marriage

When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

Many people think of Mae West as a seductive, sometimes vulgar, bottled blonde movie star of the 1930s. She was that and so much more!  In fact she was a writer of hit Broadway plays, movies, and was the highest paid movie sensation of her time. Her first small movie role with popular star George Raft caused him to later remark, “She stole everything but the cameras.” She was a comic genius, master of the sexual innuendo, and many of her famous quotes about men are still in use today.

A man's kiss is his signature.

Any time you got nothing to do - and lots of time to do it - come on up.

Don't marry a man to reform him - that's what reform schools are for.

Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

I speak two languages, Body and English.

I've been in more laps than a napkin.

It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.

Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.

The best way to hold a man is in your arms.

To err is human, but it feels divine.

When women go wrong, men go right after them.

And my personal favorite...

A hard man is a good find.

Aug 16, 2008

Red Wedding Gowns – Should You Wear One?

Yes, yes, YES! Red wedding gowns have been popular in Europe and Asia for more than ten years and now are the hottest new trend right here in America. At first we saw a hint of red, in a bold sash attached to a traditional white dress. Now you can select a complete ruby red gown, a red bodice with a white A-line or organza skirt, or a strapless white bodice with a full red skirt. Other dramatic options include red corset lacings and rich deep red appliqued embroidery.

red satin wedding gown

Aug 10, 2008

Wedding Reception Venue Ideas

Wedding reception venues - what is available and what is affordable? Public beaches, national parks or lighthouses, require special planning and permits. Get started early! Having your ceremony at Yosemite or Yellowstone will require an online application and $150 permit. Major holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day or the Fourth of July may be off limits. There may also be restrictions on parking, decorations, music, and the number of guests allowed. Here are my favorite wedding reception venue ideas:

· Landmark Hotels
· Fairgrounds or Renaissance Faires
· Military Clubs
· Wineries
· Private Yachts
· Botanical Gardens
· Historic Castles
· Bed and Breakfast Inns
· Private Mansion or Estate
· Country Clubs or Golf Courses
· Zoos
· National Parks
· Public Beaches
· Large Restaurants
· Art Gallery or Museum

The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond Virginia

Love the idea of making the magic happen in a historic landmark hotel? In Richmond, Virginia, The Jefferson - built in 1895 - is every bit as exquisite as it looks. When I stopped by, two weddings were taking place simultaneously, and I had to take pictures quickly as one bride was getting ready to descend the grand staircase. Local legend has it that this magnificient staircase was the one used in “Gone With The Wind” (Rhett carrying Scarlett up to bed). The book’s author, Margaret Mitchell, once stayed at the Jefferson and may have recreated it when writing her famous book.

Jun 5, 2008

Funny Celebrity Weddings

Celebrity weddings - we love to know what they wore, what they ate, and even better - did they get drunk, trip over their feet and fall face first into the espresso-soaked sponge cake layered with creamy hazelnut chocolate mousse?  Maybe not, but some of your favorites have quirky ideas and here are some of their very funny celebrity wedding moments. Some of these marriages didn't stand a chance - that's you Britney - and some of these couples are committed as the day they exchanged vows.  Let's just hope that includes America's sweetheart, Julia Roberts and her husband Danny Moder.

Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa

When asked where the daytime television stars Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa
were married, she reportedly answered “Chapel of Cheese.”
(Chapel of the Bells was too hard to remember.)

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Geoff Baker, McCartney’s publicist said at the time, “Overcome by the emotion,
she briefly faltered and wept while saying her vows.”
Honestly, Paul, what a bad omen.

HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

During the reception the swashbuckling prince dazzled his royal bride by slicing into their
four-tiered wedding cake with his ceremonial sword. He must have made his mark
because they’re still together after 60 years.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

Generous to a fault, wedding favors from Brit and Kevin included a pair of Nike shoelaces.
 If you go to and ask how much money does Britney Spears have,
the answer is "too much.”

Still unaware of her good fortune, Britney tries to get more mileage
out of one of her wedding dresses by wearing it again shopping for new cars.

Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer

This wedding included an Aboriginal fertility blessing by a local shaman.
It must have worked because their first child was born 8 1/2 months later. 

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann

Pink was the signature color of her mother, the blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield,
and so she chose a subtle shade of pink for her Carolina Herrera gown.
She also tucked a locket
containing the smiling portrait of her mother
tucked into the folds of her dress.

Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay

According to legend, while Jayne was taking in one of Mae West’s shows, she spotted Mickey Hargitay, a Hungarian bodybuilder, at the back of the stage. When the waiter came
to take Jayne’s order she said, “Ill have a steak and that man on the right…”

Julia Roberts and Danny Moder

This Oscar winning actress celebrated her Fourth of July wedding to photographer Danny Moder by serving hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. Even though she makes $20 million per picture, she’s happier with a picnic than a parade.

Adam Sandler and Jackie Titone

Meatball, the comedian’s pet bulldog, acting as ring bearer, wore a tuxedo and yarmulke
and carried the couple’s platinum wedding rings on his back.

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

This couple exchanged vows at St. Paul’s Covent Garden
and escorted their wedding guests to the reception
on double decker buses.

Funniest Celebrity Wedding Moment

Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Arden

Ozzy married his manager’s daughter, Sharon Arden, on a beach in Hawaii in 1982.
Reportedly he was sporting fake fangs, chewed on the bride’s neck
and serenaded her with "Fangs for the Memories.”

May 29, 2008

Carved Fruit Centerpieces

Carved fruit centerpieces - some so beautiful they take your breath away. Recently I was watching “Fantasy Fruit Sculptures” on Food Network which was held on the island of Hawaii. It involved four fruit sculpting artists turning ordinary watermelons and other common fruits and vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cabbage and cantaloupes) into magnificent carved centerpieces. The art of fruit and vegetable carving is called kae-sa-lak. It is a highly prized skill in China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand - originally used to decorate only the tables of the very rich.

carved watermelon
The story of fruit and vegetable carving began over 700 years ago.  Held at the full moon in December, many people released small, decorated rafts of flowers, carved fruit and candles onto the river to thank the soul of water for all their blessings.

carved fruit and watermelon

May 18, 2008

Sunflower Wedding Stamps

Sunflower wedding stamps - our choice to use on wedding invitations for our talented artist and youngest daughter, Danielle. Her quirky and colorful view of the world required a flower with sunny brightness that matched her eager-to-please personality. Plus, she chose April for her wedding date and here in Southeast Virginia that means rain, rain, and still more rain (makes for amazingly beautiful azaleas though). Sunflowers thrive in very hot weather and commonly bloom during summer and early fall. Not to worry - we loved the convenience and affordability of silk sunflowers anyway. When the tender breast of chicken glazed with lovely fresh peach preserves, ginger and honey was served, the garlic mashed potatoes eaten and the champagne toast finally made, no one seemed to care it wasn't the perfect time of year for a sunflower themed wedding.

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Mar 23, 2008

Hollywood Themed Bridal Shower

Hollywood themed bridal shower - it may be your one and only chance to "walk the red carpet" (even if it's just a throw rug) and thank your fans, agent and that high school drama teacher who said you could easily be the next Bette Davis. If it's Oscar night and we all were invited, it must mean that my well-deserved nomination for playing an alcoholic with two deranged husbands and a gambling problem was loved by one and all. Everyone in the room agrees I nailed it. Your Hollywood themed decorations don't have to be as elaborate as those shown below. The fun is in the pretending, complete with posing, picture taking, and paparazzi.

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Feb 25, 2008

Baseball Groom's Cake Ideas

Here are six different baseball groom's cake ideas for the man who counts the days until spring training and only resembles his former self after the best-of-seven winning games of the World Series - that is if his team wins. Mine didn't have a chocolate groom's cake, but if he had one, it would have been the team of his favorite former player, Carl Yastrzemski. In other words, only a Boston Red Sox groom's cake would do. Even if your man eats, drinks and dreams about the Yankees or (like mine) Boston's well-loved home team, this authentic looking baseball glove nestled on top of a bed of chocolate covered strawberries will be a grand slam.

Red Sox groom's cake
NY Mets Groom's Cake
Yankees Groom's Cake
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