Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Well my husband and I took the kids over to my parents house for Thanksgiving. I decided the night before that we had not taken our Christmas photo yet, and so it was time. I scrambled to find clothes for everyone. So Thursday morning after breakfast I got the kids dressed and I went to get dressed and left the kids to watch the Macy's parade on TV. I am gone for 5 minutes and I hear the kids fussing at each other (not uncommon they are 3 and 5 and like to get each other going). I go and check on them and diffuse the situation.
My husband is ready so he goes to play referee and I go finish getting ready. We both spend the rest of the time trying to keep the kids clean. Finally we are out the door.
Its a 5 minute ride to my parents house. Somewhere along the way my youngest child gets something orange on her shirt. It's a fairly small spot on her tummy so I decide photo's anyway. We just have to put our hand over the spot. My sister is a senior in high school and taking a photography class so I ask her to take our pictures. At first my daughter doesn't want in the photo, because we won't let her stand on the stool. Then once we get that settled we proceed to take 30 photo's of those photo's everyone of them has something wrong with them. It's funny how annoyed my husband looks in them. I was there, he was not annoyed but it looks that way. Finally we have one or two we can work with. Then we head outside to take a couple of more.
It was cold. It is not usually cold in Austin for Thanksgiving, at least not this cold. We stand there trying not to look cold to get a couple of more photo's then we get some with the kids them selves. Finally as we are playing with the kids just before going inside my sister snaps a couple of other ones with the kids up in the air. Those are pretty fun too.
I have a slide show here that shows the photo's from the day.

After the photo session we went in the kids had cookies (yes it was before lunch but you try and keep them out of the sweets table that is set up in plain view).

My grandmother and grandfather that live next door came over shortly after that with more sweets. We had equal to a pie a person. On top of that there were cookies, fudge, and cupcakes.

We all pitched in and lunch and all the sides were ready at 1:30. We all ate more then we should like always and talked and laughed. After clearing the table we played cards and had a great time just hanging out with the family. I am glad my grandparents are here now to enjoy this with us.

(Blogger does not like my photo's right now. I will try to add the two photo's that made the Christmas card later today)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's Turkey time!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We would like to wish you a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving from those of us at StressFree Events. To you and yours.

I won't be cooking at my house, but will be helping cook at my mothers house. It will be a big group of us but it's been bigger. At this time it will be My mom, and dad, my little brother, my little sister, my grandmother and grandfather, my husband and myself and our two children. Only ones missing this year are my other brother his wife and their baby as they are in Mexico visiting with her family. It will be a day of food, family and fun.

I am hoping we get the cards out and play for a little bit.

Again have a wonderful holiday.
Becky and the rest of the Stress Free Events team.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Green/eco-friendly weddings

I have had many brides that are wanting to make their weddings more eco friendly. There are many ways to do this and I want to list some of them here. The one thing to know is that in some of these ways you can save money in others it may cost you a little more, but think about the difference you are making on the environment.

Attire: Comfortable, loose natural clothing. There’s no need for attendants to match- just ask them to wear casual clothing they’re comfortable in. You'll probably want to focus on natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Polyester is very hard on the earth's resources, and other fabrics aren't particularly animal friendly. By all means avoid fur. For men the rental tux is not a bad option if still wanting a tux as it will get many uses as one purchased probably won't. Many people are going with matching shirts and slacks for the men. Like Mexican Wedding Shirts.
Brides can buy organic fabrics and have their dress made from that, or again think re-use and shop the thrift stores or family attics to find that special something. Also another great place is ebay see what they have there that has already been worn (just remember to ask for actual measurements in case it has been altered).

Flowers: Wildflowers or daisies, tied in a loose bunch. The look is that you picked them yourself just before the wedding. Also buy your flowers from a local grower that can assure you they are grown pesticide free. Also look into alternatives to flowers. Candles, lanterns, and baskets can be used as well. Scale down the number of flowers. Another option instead of fresh cut flowers on each table consider using potted flowering plants and give them to your guest as they leave or use them to start your own little garden.

Setting: In the woods or other beautiful natural setting. Consider parks, nature preserves, or botanical gardens near you. If you two have a favorite spot, its often possible to get a permit from the Parks Department- just be mindful that they may have rules about fires, trash, or amount of people. Ask around if there is a venue that has been certified green. I know if at least one in Austin, Texas. Check out their recycle policy.

Favors: I have more then once picked up bags and bags of Jordan Almonds that guest did not take, or fan, or various other items. These couples spent time and money putting these favors together, yet the guest do not seem to come to the wedding for the favors. Let your guest know how much you appreciate them by making a donation in their name to a local eco-friendly charity. You can leave a note on the table or better yet have it announced during the reception. Another option would be to give each guest seed packets for flowers and plants that grow in your area and they can help you make an imprint. Small tree seedlings are also available.

Menu: Serve organic food and wine, and perhaps a vegetarian or vegetable centered menu. Think lighter fare that will mesh with the beauty of your surroundings. If you're planning a vegetarian or vegan menu. Many caterers have this option now and it will not cost you nearly as much as you might think.

Invitations: Print your invitations on recycled paper. Also throw out tradition and the inner envelope. The way invitations are printed now you also don't need the sheet of tissue paper in there. That was there to avoid ink smudging or leaving an imprint on the rest of the invitation. So ask your printer to leave it out. Also limit your inserts. Create a wedding web page that guest can use to respond to and get all the maps and details. This saves on many additional envelopes (remember Aunt Mary that does not have a computer and make sure you give her a way to respond to you not all your guest will be computer savy but most will be).

Other ideas: Instead of a unity candle ceremony, plant a tree (this will only work in a park setting). Also limit the number of guest. Weddings are fun for friends and family, but not everyone of your parents co-workers are going to be as excited to come to your wedding. Save the invitations that would be sent to them. Also less bodies means a smaller venue with less energy used. Less food, and less waste is an option as well. Rent organic fabrics for your table clothes. Don't forget the plates. You can rent china instead of using paper or foam plates. Many caterers have the option to rent table setting and silver ware from them, just ask.

November the Slow

I have talked to several people (friends and colleagues) in the wedding industry and have found that it is not just me, but that November is just in general a slow month for weddings. I feel better knowing that.

I have decided not to let it get me down, but to let it get me motivated. I looked at my referral list and noticed I have many, many photographers that I can recommend and enjoy working with. Each one a little different from the other and some are a better fit for some couples then others. That is what I do, I get to know the photographers and then in getting to know the couple decide who will work best with them.

But then I looked at my list of bakeries. Well it was dismal at best. I have had several favorites, but over the past year things have happened and I have had to update the list. I had one bakery that after two negative customer service issues, I researched some more, and found out that it was not just me that was having problems. Their customer service is lacking. Its a shame the cakes are great. And then another of my favorite bakers moved out of town. (Any one getting married in Galveston let me know I have a name for you). And then another was a start up bakery. The cakes were great, and unique, they were fun to work with. They also were so cheap I just couldn't believe it. Well, it seems that their prices were too good to be true, they just didn't have the start up capital that they needed. Well with three bakeries off the list I need a few new cake and pastry contacts. So I made some calls, read some boards, talk to some colleagues, and well I came up with a list of 10 new bakeries that I would consider. I have been working this month on meeting with them all and tasting their cakes. Oh my this has got to be one of those perks you just don't get at every job. Free cake!! I am still in the process of weeding through the bakeries and individuals, but feel I have a better idea what is out there.

I have two weddings coming up in March I look forward to sharing those with you. One is a full on planning, and the other is a day of consultation. They will both be wonderful.