Saturday, June 30, 2012

Think Outside the Cake Box

Are you and your hubby a traditional tiered cake couple or are you willing to think outside the cake box for your wedding treats?

A lot of people are trying new and exciting ways to treat their guests to some sweets at the end of the night. Many new couples have turned to the candy bar, a table lined with lovely sweet treats in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures. Some keep to a specific theme with the candies while others keep their theme colors from the wedding party.
Another twist on traditional cake is an arrangement of cupcakes. They can all the the same flavor or they can be mixed and match for your guests to choose. You may not want to skip the iconic cake and cake cutting during your wedding so you may opt for a small tiered cake to take the monumental photo or you can cut a cupcake as husband and wife.
The most recent out-of-the-cake-box idea that I have seen holds a near and dear place in my heart. The sweet treat at the end of the night was a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich! I love it ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, what could be better! And the best part is if you and your hubby have a special flavor of ice cream or favorite kind of cookie you can incorporate your own personal spin on the idea.

I love the traditional cake, but also love the idea of doing something different with it. How do you feel about thinking outside the cake box for your wedding treats?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer BBQing

Schools are out, not just those early closers, they are all out at least in NJ! That is the official indication of summer  at least for me. And if that wasn't enough our beautiful beaches, parks and streets down here at the Jersey Shore are packed with people ready to enjoy the season. Another unofficial season indicator is also the smells of grilling wafting in and out of the house and neighborhoods. July 4th is coming up fast, and many people celebrate with backyard BBQ's around the United States. I am looking forward to spending the 4th with fabulous friends & family listening to great music, playing with the kids and of course having some quality food. If you are hosting a BBQ this season and want some great ideas for grill & cooking check out a friend of mine, She is a great cook & baker, I can tell you from experience I have eaten many a delicious meal that she has cooked and followed a lot of her recipes. All with GREAT results!
Getting back to your summer BBQ events, in my family, no matter what season, whenever you went to someone else's house for a party or BBQ you are supposed to bring something, an offering of thanks to your host. My husband and I normally bring some sort of fattening dip that we enjoy or a bottle of wine but this year I thought it would be nice since beach season is HERE if we helped ourselves and others stay on track with their diets & brought something cute but inedible that our host might like even after July 4th has come and gone.
Red White & Blue Cake
Summer Fun Stripe Cake
As I perused my normal selection of materials for my bathroom towel cakes I started thinking of the BBQ's we would be attending & decided to venture into the realm of kitchen art. I found a simple solution to my "what to bring" query, kitchen towel cakes. I will be giving one at my first BBQ of the season next week. And after thinking about it, they could be a great bridal shower table topper & give-a-way for your summer shower guests. If you want an alternative to food or flowers that will die a few days after they take them home.
Good luck summer party goers & have fun at your 4th of July BBQ's!!

Funky Floral Cake

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flowers: Fabric vs Fragrant

Do fabric floral arrangements have a place in your wedding?
I am a part of, an online website housing handmade and vintage items. People like me who have handmade an item set up a shop on the website and have a place to show others our materials. People looking for original handmade items can sign up as buyers and place orders simply and easily through the website. As a shop owner on Etsy I see so many beautiful, unique handmade items; some of which I have shared in other blogs. I have seen and liked (added to my favorites) some really awesome fabric floral arrangements. Some shops specialize in single flower arrangements, others in entire bouquets. Their are flower balls for decoration, table centerpieces, and decorations of all types made from silk and fabric flowers.
I love flowers. My grandfather kept a beautiful rose garden, among other types of plants and trees. They were something I took an interest in because he took an interest in them. We spent hours clipping, pruning, and treating the flowers and trees in my grandfather's gardens. We rarely picked the flowers because they were much more beautiful in their natural world then in a vase on the table. Roses will eventually die no matter if they are in nature or not but in nature they return as pretty and perfect as ever each year. Healthy rose bushes smell so potent, when mixed with the other smells in the garden no other perfume or air freshener in doors compares.
So I understand why they are a top choice for wedding decorations and bouquets. However, like any other cut flower, they wilt and die. Is it worth a few hours of decoration and a couple hundred dollars or more? Or would you rather a more permanent bouquet you can have and hold, a bouquet of silk and fabric that will not wilt or die?

I couldn't bear the thought of not including my favorite flowers in my special day, and went with a mixed bouquet of white roses, white lilies and calla lilies. But for my venue decorations I opted for reusable, silk floral arrangements. They were the same colors as my own bouquet, matched my theme and colors perfectly, didn't spill water on my guests, and didn't wilt by the end of the night.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Fun Day

Do you have a special day of the week that you look forward to?

Most of us who work a regular week day job say Friday is the best day of the week because it lead into the weekend, but in my family we worked all week to get to Sunday. You might say we were crazy, if you know any of us their is no maybe attached to that, but we are crazy in a good way I like to think.

Any way, our special day of the week was Sunday because no matter what stage in life any one was on, no matter what activities we were involved in, we always spent the bulk of our Sunday at my Grandparents house together. If we had sports or activities going on they were in the morning & we joined the rest of the family in their task of the weekend. The task of the weekend depended on what the weather was like and what season, sometimes it was planting in the yard others it was rearranging in the house. We worked for the morning and would break in the early afternoon round 2pm each Sunday for dinner. Everyone would clean up & sit down together and that is where the real fun started.  As we ate we talked, as the time ticked by we inevitably got louder with a heated debate over anything & everything. Some began over the texture of the meatballs or the taste of the sauce at this dinner versus dinners in past, and my personal favorite arguing over who tore the italian bread instead of cutting it.  Yet other dinner "discussions", and I use the word discussion loosely, took a more serious turn. We would clear the table, watch a movie which actually means nap where ever you find room, sit on the porch or in the yard, and have dessert before heading home.

Either way it panned out Sunday was our family day, as a child I would NOT have deemed it Sunday Fun Day but as an adult looking back it was! When everyone is back together at a party or at my grandparents house as adults with families of their own it is just as great as when we were kids, the food, the discussions, and the overall playful-fun-loving atmosphere.

Do you have a special day with your family? How do you celebrate on your "fun day"?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shoes in Blue or White Pick It Right

If you were planning on adding your something blue by wearing a pair of cute new blue shoes under your dress as suggested in my "Something Borrowed, Something Blue" post, or not, here are a few things to consider when picking the right shoe for you. You want comfort on your wedding day. No one enjoys watching a bride totter down the aisle awkwardly because her heels are way too high for her to walk normally in. Or worse, not get down the aisle at all because of too high-high heels. And honestly, as a bride do you want to be uncomfortable in shoes you bought specifically for this day? Shoes you may very well end up wearing day and night?

I can see it now. You in your beautiful new white dress with your hair perfectly pinned & placed exactly how you imagined, movie-star-makeup, and adorable new pumps in place making you appear 3 inches taller to complete your glamour look. You are smiling, of course, it is your big day. A day you have dreamed about and planned your whole life! Yet, every step you take in your perfectly spiked high heels you sink deeper into the soft, lushes Greens you and your hubby chose for your wedding pictures. The Green makes a perfect backdrop for your long awaited wedding day pictures, so you plaster on that smile. Each step is painful and takes longer then the last because your heels are now providing air-a-tion for the lush grass. You try to move along to the next snapshot on your long list of have-to-have photos. Your too high heels getting stuck in the soft grass, sinking into the ground with each step of the way. And this is just the beginning, you and your now dirty high heels still have a night of greeting and dancing ahead of you! How will you make it through the rest of the night? Even if you change shoes or ditch the shoes altogether your dress is already muddled with dirt from running around in sinking, mud caked heels.

It is painful to even consider. Why traipse around in pain and ruining your day when you could go with a stylish, cute shoe that feels good too? Their are a load of flats and wedge heels out their in all sorts of colors, they are cute and don't kill your feet.  In a normal setting even walking across lush grass, they won't sink into the ground poking little holes like your stilettos, and they won't pick up half the ground with you unnecessarily dirtying your dress from the inside out. The wedge is a great alternative to pumps, I am short like just hitting five foot short, so I try to wear shoes with a heel whenever possible. I tend to opt for a wedge over pumps, my back and feet don't hurt nearly as much when I wear a wedge. I'm not saying to forgo pumps at together, just consider a more moderate heel depending on your style, don't go for the highest high heel just to look good; you and your feet may regret it.  You will look beautiful no matter what you wear on your feet! But you will feel much better if you consider your feet on your big day!

And if you just can't break traditional thinking by wearing blue shoes, I have seen some really cool, unique shoe clips made by my fellow Etsians shop members ( These clips are made especially for shoes, some are especially made to bring that something blue to your wedding shoe without breaking from the white shoe.

Some of my favorite hand made blue shoes or blue shoe clips are from etsy shops:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Everyone knows the age old wedding says, "something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new" for your wedding day. Some traditional blue items over the years have been piece of jewelry, garters, and even blue undergarments.
I, myself stuck with a more traditional something blue-the garter I wore had beautiful light blue ribbon wrapped around a white satin band, trimmed in white lace. I have seen Giants, Yankees & Mets garters, all featuring the color blue in their logos; I know their are a number of other professional teams out their with blue logos but when you live in the Tri-Stae NJ area those are about it! I have seen brides feature blue sapphire necklaces, earrings and rings on their wedding day too. But until recently I had never seen blue shoes hidden under the brides dress.

The idea intrigued me. I LOVED IT!

Think about it, no one can see your feet under that floor length dress anyway so why not jazz up your dress with a pair of cute shoes under it all? When you pick up your dress to swoosh around on the dance floor you may show off your tootsies a bit, but chances are most of your guests will love seeing more of your personal style come out when they are hopping around with you!

You can vary the blue depending on your theme and colors or on your personal favorite shade of blue. I think it is an awesome way to incorporate your something blue and something new without breaking the bank on a new set of expensive jewelry. And if you have a pair of old blue shoes that you are dying to wear but didn't know how to work it into your big day, well then you have your something old and your something blue!
If your wedding has come and gone, what was your something blue? If you are waiting for your wedding to come around, what will your something blue be?

Blue wedding shoes

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What to Buy for Baby

What is the best gift to give a new mom or mom-to-be? Is their the perfect gift or is any gift they need ok?

I ask myself the same question each time I find out that a friend or family member is pregnant and then again as the baby shower approaches. I learned through many friends and family members who have had children, and others who are just getting started with their new families that their are a few key items parents can NEVER have enough of. Diapers and onesies are KEY to a successful first few years. My mom always laugh when I bring up the subject of baby gifts and registry items, she would say, "If your not sure you can always get boxes of diapers and onesies of all sizes that is what you lived in for your first year." I would laugh back at her when she'd say it but after going back through baby album after baby album of mine & my brothers that is exactly what we were in if we were home!

So I set out to find a creative way of giving diapers & onesies and all those little items that get overlooked on a baby registry and found diaper cakes....the perfect solution to giving the gift of diapers, something that every new parent needs A LOT of! In doing so I found diaper motorcycles, diaper trikes, diaper bottles, diaper babies, diaper flower bouquets and so much more. I have even created a few I haven't seen "out there" yet, my diaper bear is good to go the diaper duck is still in the works.

Bottom line, people with babies need diapers! And I am ready, willing and able to help out with my very own diaper cakes & diaper art.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Pop of Color

I have seen so many beautiful bridal party color schemes lately! I know summer is just starting but the colors that are coming out of this season's bridal parties are absolutely beautiful. I just want to bring attention to the use of stand out colors to add that little POP to your bridal party scheme. I was in a wedding at the beginning of the month that did it perfectly. All the girls were in navy blue dresses of different types. The only dress requirements were they should be close to the knee and have some type of chiffon/taffeta. Later on we were asked to find peachy/pink shoes to finish the look off. The bride had just the right color in mind to compliment our navy blue dresses. The little addition of peach/pink to  our feet & a few perfectly placed pink & peach flowers in our bouquet perfected the look! Everyone in the bridal party looked beautiful. And the bride did her own POP of color in true fashion & style she walked down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress, perfectly matching white hair piece & adorable navy blue shoes that you could only see when she picked her dress up to dance the night away!

Bottom line, whatever your wedding day style jazz it up a bit with a little POP color to make it fun and exciting & stand out a little!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Special Day Re-dos?

It feels like forever ago since I had my own wedding, though I know it has only been a few short years. All the pressure and planning seems to weight you down when it is your BIG DAY. Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVED planning my wedding, but most brides will agree it is a lot of work no matter what type of bride you are. Even the most laid-back ladies, or type A planners that I have had the pleasure of spending time with have admitted no amount of planning, prepping and list making gets you as ready as you want to be. And believe me their weddings were gorgeous, yet they still felt like they needed to do more. So I guess the question in my head & reason for this post is when is enough, enough? When is everything exactly the way you want it to be? 

I recently read an article on a popular wedding website that asked it's readers what they would change about their wedding day. I was interested and wanted to see what other former brides had to say, but part way through I stopped reading. It hit me that all of these brides were picking apart this beautiful happy day that was the "first" start as husband and wife. I loved my wedding day! I put so much thought into every detail of my special day; so many friends and family members were there to celebrate with us, many of whom helped us get through the months leading up to the big day.  I wouldn't take back any moment of my special day with my husband, I am happy to have had so many people who care so much about us see us "begin" our life together.  My husband was and still is amazing! My girls looked beautiful & his guys were perfect! And our wedding fit us, it matched our personalities, and made us happy!

It rained on the morning of my wedding but the sun came out just long enough for us to get outside and take pictures. My hair dressed refused to use a curling iron & my curler curls went limp half way through the day. I booked the hall well in advance & ended up changed the date to push the wedding up so my Grandfather who was ill could be with us. My husband-to-be had the wrong flowers- his best man's matched mine, and they stayed out late the night before coming to the hall later we had planned. People got lost and came late, some didn't come at all for one reason or another. 

And I wouldn't take any of it back, because it was my day...well, OUR day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Is Here

Well its that time of year again, school is out and summer is here! It is always so much fun at the Jersey Shore in the summer. Great weather, lots of fun events & of course great food. The beach has always been my favorite summer destination.  I remember helping to pack up the car and heading down the shore every year right at the end of the summer. It was our big family vacation, we could stay up late and play games on the board walk or rollerblade to one of ten ice cream places near our hotel. Some of my greatest summer vacation memories were made at and near the beach.

After growing up in the mountains of North Jersey I couldn't resist the call back to the beach. I've been here for around ten years now. It has always been popular for collage kids & young adults, that was my first draw to life down here. But it seems like more and more families are visiting our beaches year after year. For a few short weeks or weekends they are enjoying the weather, and beach views that I am lucky enough to have every day of the year.!
For anyone thinking of a Jersey Shore vacation this year, come on down for a visit. Asbury Park has a cute kiddie water park by board walk with lots of great restaurants and of course easy beach access near by.   Bradley Beach has an annual Lobster Fest with loads of lobster prepared a million different ways.  Asbury Park's Jazz fest is a perfect way to relax to great music. And almost all of the Jersey Shore events, whether music, crafts or food festivals have fun kid friendly activities. And of course you can find that perfect spot on the beach and make your own fun in the sun with or without kids!

So I guess the question is where will you be vacationing this summer?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

  I know for most dads out there fathers day is just another day, my dad says it every year, but it is not just any other day to me. My family is and has always been very close. Father's day just like any other Sunday was spent with the whole family helping out at Grandma & Grandpa's house, then having a big family dinner around 2pm.
  No matter what anyone says, family time at my Grandma & Grandpa's always topped any fancy dinner out or scheduled event because we were all together relaxed and able to be ourselves with the ones we loved. Yes, we had chores and outside "work" to do in the morning but even that couldn't put a damper on pasta or BBQ dinner with Dad & Grandpa.  But Father's Day, that was a special Sunday!
 It was a day all about Dad. A day all about Grandpa. Two very special people in my life. On Father's Day we were able to MAKE them sit back and relax, no hard work for them on THEIR day.  We were able to climb all over the place and drag them with us because it was THEIR day. We took long drawn out walks to the lake in the back of the house just because we wanted them to see the ducks as part of their" present" or drag them to watch a silly play that we made up just for them.
  Now, you might ask how that is different then any other day with this two great dads, but it wasn't!
  They were always willing to give up their time for us, no matter what! They were at every event, in every audience, leading every cheering section and there to kiss us good night. They always included us in everything they did no matter how big or small we were or the task was.
But it was the thought, the idea that 3 little kids put everything about them and their immediate likes, dislikes & desires aside to celebrate their dad and granddad. And I think that is what made these two, strong, smart, unbelieved individuals smile the most on THEIR day; appreciating THEIR day the most of all. It isn't and was never the gifts or cards it was what was in our hearts that made and still makes this day so special to all those dads including mine who thinks Father's Day is just another calendar day.


Welcome to my blog. 
This is my very first blog, I am so excited to be starting off in the blogging community. I create gift "cakes" made from diapers and bathroom towels. My cakes are made by me in my home and are all ready to be used when they leave my home and enter yours. They are a great flower alternative for engagements, and welcome home baby gifts. Some of my cakes have been used as baby shower & bridal shower centerpieces. They are also great gifts if you, like me, are worried about giving a useful, practical gift to people you love! NO worries or hassle over what to give you give me the theme/color scheme and I do all the work for you.  My hopes for this blog are to share my experiences in crafting my cakes, share new or useful products & of course pass along any coupons for baby/wedding products.