Off to Reno

I’m heading to Reno today and will have very limited (if any) internet access so please feel free to call me if you need me!  Helen, this especially is true for you since your wedding is approaching at the end of June and you may need to get a hold of me.  And for everyone else, friends & clients – I am here for you even though i’m on the road!

I have never been to Reno and having just come back from Vegas recently, I have to say i’m pretty excited!  I love new places and Reno’s visit is pleasure only, not business so I get to spend my time browsing and relaxing (as much as possible with a 7-month old at my side!). 

Have a great week…

Fun Find #3!

Custom photo charms – I love it!  I guess pretty much anything custom-made is going to be a hit with me.  At Annie Howes Keepsakes website (http://www.anniehowes.com/017.html) you can order the cutest little charms with a picture of your loved one on one side and text of your choice on the other.  You can choose your photo to be black/white, sepia or color.

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There are other lovely items like 1″ x 3″ pendants and magnets.  There are no minimum quantities and each item is truly unique.  Have fun browsing!

Posted in Fun

For A Great Cause

As one of my favorite internet paper shopping places, I had to spotlight Paper Source (www.paper-source.com) for their efforts in working with the Make A Wish Foundation. 

Not only do they have the most beautiful papers and DIY invitation kits, they will also work with couples (or anyone else celebrating an event) to provide table or favor cards, noting that a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation will be made in guests’ honor.

Here is the link for more info:

http://paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/wishes/index.html

http://paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/wishes/index.html

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Some samples of their wrapping paper that I just love.  Gift receivers will say “who cares about what is wrapped inside – look at the paper!”

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It’s About Time

It has been seven glorious months since I brought home my baby girl and just now am I trying to get back into shape.  What shape?  Just more health I guess and I want to lose some weight.  Thanks to my friend Jen for the kick-start, which I desperately needed.  I kept telling myself it was ok because I JUST had a baby.  Well that worked the first three months but now I have no excuse. 

For the last week I have been careful to watch what I eat and I am walking a lot.  And I lost six pounds during those last seven days.  YAY!  I’m so happy to know what i’m doing is working and i’m now very encouraged to keep going.

If anyone else is trying to drop their post-baby “poundage” or anyone else who just wants to get back into shape, let me know and we can chat!  It really does help to have a network for sharing.

So, now i’m off to the kitchen to have my well-sized portion of lunch!

Fun Find of the Week #2!

I love this!  Don’t you hate having to enter tons of personal information on a website just to browse it or get access?  Then you have to create a personal profile, choose a username, etc.  It just goes on and on!

 The solution?  Visit www.bugmenot.com and find usernames and passwords that have already been created so that you can access more than 150,000 sites without dealing with all the pre-registration hassle!

Genius, I tell ya.

Posted in Fun

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

We hear this all the time, right? And we all know this is so true, especially in regards to media.  Well, today I noticed an article on Yahoo’s front page titled “10 Wedding Planner Secrets, Wedding planners often keep their happy couples in the dark.”

I knew that article was out there days ago, first featured in Smart Money and that was bad enough.  Lately, there have been many shows, interviews, and writings about wedding planners taking advantage of couples.  So, every media outlet is, of course, jumping to be the next one to feature another story about horrible Wedding Planners.  Yes, there are plenty of seedy ones, but that goes for any and all professions.

My problem with this article is the title, and Yahoo’s sub-title, which really does not relate to the actual content.  For the most part, the article gives some good advice. I would like to post my two cents on a couple of things…

Number 1 quote: “Since wedding planning requires no formal training, anyone can hang out a shingle, and a growing number of former brides are doing just that.” So, always ask for references from former brides – and at least three – and talk to these brides to get their feedback.  And find out from the Planner how they started in the industry, where they got experience, what type of formal training they have and if they belong to any associations, such as the Association of Bridal Consultants (www.bridalassn.com).

Number two quote: “Another way to time yourself into savings is to get married during the “off season” — typically December, January and February — when wedding planners may offer reduced rates.”  I don’t know about other planners but for me, doing a wedding in December hardly means a discount, especially if the event falls during the holidays.  I like to be with my family and to take a break from planning, especially during the final weeks of the year!

Number 3 quote: “And since a wedding consultant’s commission grows in tandem with her clients’ budget, she has powerful incentive to encourage couples to pull out all the stops on their big day — and virtually none to negotiate with vendors for the best deal.”  When you hire a Wedding Planner, ask him or her if they receive any kickbacks, discounts, referral fees from vendors.  NONE of the professional Wedding Planners I know of do this, as it is considered unethical.  My purpose is to pass on savings to my client.
Number 4 quote: “Then, once you’ve selected vendors and collected contracts, devise an event-day schedule and send it out to all your vendors two to three weeks prior to the wedding. The rest is icing on the cake, so to speak. Still daunted? Recruit your maid of honor or most reliable friend to help out. …….. ask for a gift of administrative help on your wedding day.”  Your wedding guests should be exactly that – your guests!  Having your best friend or family member work your wedding is not the best choice.  Especially since Planners are trained to handle last minute changes and emergencies.

 A trained, experienced Wedding Planner will help you stick to your budget, find money-saving options, keep you on track with your progess, be available to guide you when needed.  Now that is priceless.

A Very Sweet 16 Celebration

Last weekend’s Sweet 16 party was a huge success!  Zoe was the birthday girl and she looked stunning in her hollywood style gown.  The night’s theme was Old, Glamorous Hollywood and the decor matched perfectly.

Zoe’s mom, Linda, hired me to plan the event and choose the colors, flowers, fabrics, and coordination of the party back in March of this year. Even with limited time, we were able to work together to present Zoe and fifty of her closest friends with the Sweet 16 of her dreams.

Main color choices were black, red and gold.  Lots of candlelight and dimmed lighting created a Casablanca effect and highlighted the table linens and centerpieces. 

 For a very Hollywood feel, all guests entered through the main doors on a red carpet and had their picture taken by one of the photographers at their “grand entrance.”

The florals arrangements included centerpieces with deep, red roses in square vases, with black river rocks speckled with gold paint.  Two large, floral podium arrangements welcomed guests at the entrance with black feathers and gold twine. The buffet, gift and welcome tables were adorned with gold, mint julip containers holding dark red roses and delicate black feathers.    All flowers were done by my favorite florist of all – The Orange Blossom, which is owned by Jennifer & Julianna (www.theorangeblossom.net).  Once again, they outdid themselves and provided exactly what I was looking for and added beautiful touches here and there using their creativity to enhance my original vision.

A candy buffet offered guests a selection of various treats to take home with them as a nightime favor in red, cellophane bags. 

Just got some great pictures from Sarah, (you can contact her at sarahparra@gmail.com)  the photographer and friend of mine.  I’m so excited to share! 

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Fun Find of the Week!

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all fellow mommies.  I get some alone time for a few hours today, besides my yummy breakfast in bed.  This should happen way more than once a year – don’t you agree? 

 I’m going to post something fun & fabulous for my loyal readers (there are some of you, right?) each week.  Some will be wedding/event related, and some not!  I hope you find something you absolutely love and had no idea existed.  That is the whole fun of it ;)

This time you must check out www.mydavinci.com for a ton of options for turning your ordinary photos into extraordinary masterpieces, or fun frames for your home. 

My favorites:

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There are many other options including caricature, abstract & photo enhancements.  Their framing is very affordable too in case you are like me and tend to leave your photos laying around in their boring packaging wondering when you will get around to organizing them!

Posted in Fun

The Happiest Place on Earth (for about 2 hours)

 I decided to purchase an annual pass to Disneyland now that my baby girl is so past the newborn stage (about 4 months to be exact!) and she loves to look at anything and everything new to her AND more importantly, I get out of the house and walk!  The pass is not valid on Saturdays or the entire month of July – but who wants to go on a crowded weekend or holiday anyway?  The lines are so long and the heat would be awful in the summer, so needless to say, I am thrilled with my options of weekdays and Sundays. 

Anyway, I took the baby to Disneyland a couple weeks ago for her first visit and I didn’t plan on staying more than 3 hours.  Well, that was easily decided because my sweetie fell asleep after the first ride on “It’s a Small World!”  We were headed to the train ride when she decided to take a nap so I got to hold her while we took a trip around the park.  

As you will see in the pictures below, I only got shots of our one adventure since she was awake then and a couple around Disneyland photo spots.  She also has on her 1st Visit pin, which was just so cute!

 We have been twice now and each time we try a different ride.  Baby got a little scared on the Alice in Wonderland ride so I had to talk to her and calm her down but she was fine once we got out of the really dark tunnel!  So, how does one go about getting those fast passes???  Hmmmmm…