Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stress Free Thanksgiving.

In surfing the net I came across an article about Stress Free Thanksgiving and thought hey that's right up my alley. So in reading it I have to agree with what was said. The articale was on iVillage and was written by Michele Capozolli. Here is where you can find the article. Here are her 7 steps and my notes on them.

Step 1 Extend the Invitation: What she does not include in this is that this is a time to think about and ask about special dietary needs of any of your guests. Like I have several diabetics on my husbands side of the family. They manage it well and don't require too much special preparation but I make sure to have a non-sweet tea available as well as a desert that is more diabetic friendly if they want it.

Step 2 Plan the Menu: If you do plan a little much make sure to invest in some ZipLock storage bags and containers so you can send some home with guests if you wish or can easy freeze for your lunches the next week.

Step 3 The Decor: What she does not mention is let your food be the decor for the table. Don't over crowd your table with decorations that are just going to be moved away once the food starts being passed around.

Step 4 Go Shopping: Also remember a frozen turkey takes about a week to thaw in the fridge so give yourself time to thaw it. Try to be done shopping the weekend before leaving only fresh items that need to be purchased the day or two before.

Step 5 Clean and Organize: Start with one section of one room at a time and get help. Husbands and Wives and kids can all have responsibilities. If it helps you look at each room and make a list of everything that needs to be done and check it off as you go.

Step 6: Set the Table.: Now if you are like me you use your table in the preparing of foods and this is not an option. But at least have everything out and stacked neatly and ready to go and check the table cloth and make sure there are not any stains on it from last year that you just assumed came out in the wash.

Step 7 start cooking: As for the day of give yourself plenty of time. Start things a little earlier than you think they need. Have several timers for the different things and label them so you know which one is timing what. Also have some easy to grab snacks for little ones and big ones that are just impatient. You may not want them to fill up on snacks but having them out of the kitchen while you are preparing the big feast is worth it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kids Party Favors

I know that most of what I have on this blog is wedding related. I do more then just weddings, so i thought I should share some other fun stuff, like this. Kids Party Favors. I love favors at kids parties, but I like favors that I know kids will want and parents might not hate the host for. Here is a list of some of my favorites.

Music Mix CD

It can be a mix of your child's favorite songs, or based on a theme. If you are having a wild west cowboy party fill the CD with great western songs. You can play the CD during the party so the kids will take home something that will always remind them of your child's party.

Fun Foam

You can buy foam visors and other foam items with foam stickers for very little. This can be an activity at the party where kids can decorate these and then take them home. Pre-School girls seem to really like this.

Themed Books

Find books at half price books or on with the theme of your party and send one home. Kids and parents love books. I will say that I usually try to pair it with something edible because not every child is as thrilled about a book as the next. This could include activity books with crayons.

Goodie Bags

Make these to fit the theme of your party. My kids wild west party I took red bandannas and put in a sheriff badge some Teddy gram's, a juice box, some cowboy stickers, and a quick little thank you note. wrapped them up and tied with twine. For a pirate themed party consider a treasure chest. For a movie party Take popcorn bags or boxes and fill with microwave popcorn and sunglasses (for the superstars), and movie candy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I get alot of questions about invitations and thought I would take a few of them and address some common questions.

No Kids!

This is not saying that you don't like your friends and families children, but your wedding is not really an event planned for them in mind. You want your friends and family to come and have a great time and not worry how far past bedtime it is for their little one. But how do you let them know? I have been asked can I write "No Children" or "Adults Only" on the invitation. Its best for a formal invitation not to include these works. What you have to do is address the invitation very specifically only invite those you want to be there. If they send it back with their kids names on it, then call them and let them know that your wedding is not the place for kids. Also let your wedding party and imidiate family know your wishes and they can help pass on the word.

When do I address and send out my invitations?

Start at least two to three months before your wedding with addressing your invitations. Especially when hand addressing the invitations for a large guest list. Send them out six to eight weeks before the wedding. Ten weeks is best for overseas invitations or APO military addresses. Also give a little longer if your wedding is on a holiday weekend and you did not send out a save the date notice. Also if you have a limited number of guest you are inviting you can send out the first set of invitations around that ten week time frame and as you get replies of some that can't make it, you can send out another invition to someone else that you might have wanted but space did not allow.

Thanksgiving Give Away

Alright all my faithful blog and facebook followers. All my past and present brides and friends in the wedding world I want to say Thank You, and let you know how thankful I am to you. I stole this idea from my friend Carli over at Inked Fingers.
I want to show you all my appreciation because without all of you Stress Free Events would not be where it is today.

So I am offering a Free Event to the winner of this Give Away. You get to pick I will help you plan a Bridal Shower, Baby Shower, Christmas/Holiday Party, Birthday Party (excluding quince and sweet 16). I will help with all the planning and vendor referrals for your event. I will help with a timeline for your event. I will confirm all your vendors, anything else I can help with I will. Depending on the date of your event I will also be on hand to help that day as well.
This is for all of you past, present, future, clients, vendors, friends, family, and those you tell about it.

To enter reply to this blog post or the post on the facebook fan page. And tell me one thing you are thankful for.

Winner will be drawn on Thanksgiving Day and announced no later than the next day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Silk Vs. Real

I will admit that I am a fan of the flower. I really love the look and feel and smell of real flowers. I will admit, also that I lean personally to real flowers. I have heard the various arguments over the years and I have seen some of the merit, but then would go back to my preference of the elegance of real flowers. I recently ran across an article on that addressed this issue. Here it is.
Not one thing that it does not address is time. While with Silk you have time to play with the flowers over and over again and get them just right, you actually might end up spending a lot of time on making your flowers. At the same time with a florist you put your flowers in the hands of a professional and take them off your plate for one less thing to worry about.

The choice is yours, its your wedding and you know what you can handle and want. Don't let someone tell you that one way is the only way. Also before making the final choice get a few floral quotes, and search online and at your local craft stores and price out the flowers and other supplies you would need to make your own arrangements.

First Photo by Ron Parks and features real flowers
Second Photo by Jess Watson and features silks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deena and Eric

Deena and Eric were such a great couple to work with. And their wedding was just stunning. That is my word of the day with this wedding. First off they choose a venue that I have been drooling over for years and could not wait to do a wedding there, so I was thrilled with the back yard of all back yards in Austin. Then Deena and I when talking came up with a color that was bright and bold just like she was. Top that off with some other awesome vendors. Oh and then Deena was a striking old Hollywood starlet in her dress, and Eric was handsome and striking in his own way. It was a smaller wedding but they had a blast and I have to say their friends and family know how to have a good time. If more of them lived closer I think I would want to hang out with them. See Below for some of the Amazing Cast of Vendors.

Cater: Pink Avocado
Sweets: Sweet Tempered (who I sadly say are not taking new customers but they did wonderfully).
And I want to thank Nery Lauderdale for all her hard work.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Laren and Justin

This was another wonderful wedding. I have been working with Lauren and Justin from across the country with stop in visits here and there. They had a very definite idea of what they wanted and what they could do to get it. I loved helping them find the right elements for their big day.
Here is some of the cast that made this day happen:
Venue: Caswell House (Craig was a huge help with switching from ceremony to dinner and clean up)
Caterer: Pink Avocado. I have to say I am always impressed with these guys and their service and their food. The apple goat cheese quesidilla appetizers are a favorite now of mine.
Photos: The Nichols (these photos are mine I will post theirs when they get the editing done).
Cakes: Blue Note Bakery (And yes every bit of that grooms cake is edible).
Sound: Stretch Sound. Justin and Lauren knew what music they wanted so they put it all on an IPOD and then JT put together a great sound system that provided music upstairs and downstairs for the event. Oh and he was helping move tables and chairs when we were switching to the dinner time from ceremony time. Way to go above the call of duty.
Coordinator/Planner: Myself and new to the team Channin Young (thanks for all your hard work Channin).

Heather and Reid

Heather and Reid hired us for their Fall reception. Teresa and Nery were on hand for this event and handled everything beautifully, while I was a phone call away preparing for another event.
I loved the colors and garden feel that they achieved here. This was an afternoon wedding and a pretty laid back feel, just like this sweet couple. I hope to do another post soon with professional photos.
Some of the Cast:
Cakes and Cupcakes: Polka Dots
Caterer: Food Heads
Photos: Sarah Q (the ones in this post are by my staff)

A special Thank you to JT with Stretch Sound who stopped by when the sound system was not working properly on set up and did his thing and got it running without any troubles. What a great guy.