Had a date night in Friday with a Chocolate fountain…

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So I have been craving fondue eating for a while now. Here in Milwaukee we have a restaurant called The Melting Pot that seems like a ball of fun. With a little patience you can have the same experience at home. For a date night in, I used frozen bananas, strawberries, pineapples, ice cream flavored mushrooms, Special K Pastry Crisps in cookies n cream & Ritz crackers with peanut butter filling….

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I like chocolate fountains because it makes people get up from their seats at a party and mingle. It’s a fun idea for any dinner or birthday party for kids and adults and great as a treat during wedding receptions…

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I used YescomUSA‘s chocolate fountain. I hear some come with up to four parts. I like that this one only came into two parts which made for an easy installation. I used gheridelli chocolate which I first melted over the stove top. Once melted I spooned it into the base and heated the chocolate for a couple minutes before turning on the fountain.

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Tuesday’s Tips: No Sew DIY Cloth Napkins from old shirts

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I was watching Rachel Ray and she had someone on her show repurposing old shirts and turning them into cute square cloth napkins. This could be a quick fun way to use fabric from an old or thrifted shirt that may not fit anymore. Sometimes it’s the textile that you can’t part with, so you end up keeping it. Making cloth napkins can jazz up the dinner party table and make use of something that was going to sit idle in the closet. All you need is a little patience, scissors and steam a seam tape. It’s similar to hem tape one can use on pants. See a tutorial here.

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Let’s say you have a dinner party or small wedding to plan. Adding cloth napkins completes the table setting. Linen rental companies can be very pricey so it may be easier to buy a few yards of fabric at the local fabric store and get to cutting and ironing! Make some place mats while you’re at for additional savings.

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{All images via my Pinterest‘s tablescape board}

Tuesday’s Tips: budget friendly bed & breakfast wedding ceremonies

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Face it. Weddings cost a ton but that is no reason to start your marriage off in debt if you don’t have the means to pay for an elaborate affair. Having a small scaled wedding but want the details to remain elegant? Consider an intimate wedding gathering by booking a bed and breakfast.

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Book all the rooms to the house (which b&bs typically are……big ‘ol mansions) and if it’s picturesque enough (most have nice pretty yards), have the ceremony there. Depending on how far in advance you book, try to book all the rooms in the B&B so that the entire wedding party can stay. Arrange it where everyone stays overnight so that the morning of the wedding you won’t have to worry about rushing to the location site. You also will save money by not having to rent party buses or limos for the wedding party since you all will already be there.

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If the party is small and there are more rooms, consider booking a room for the hair stylist and makeup artist too since they play important roles in the wedding party look. You may want to eliminate any chance of them running into traffic the day of your wedding.

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As a thank you, host a Thank You brunch the morning after for everyone if it’s a destination or road trip. Otherwise a brunch for the wedding party is a nice parting gesture.

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Most B&B’s tend to have a fancier backyard and landscaping. Look for one with fountains, a gazebo, manicured landscaping, pool, rose bushes and flower gardens. The more flowers and already decorated, the less money you will need for the florist. Also if there are benches along the property, you will less likely need to rent additional lounge seating for “cocktail hour” or informal times during the reception.

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You can also look for a B&B located on a wine vineyard, rolling hills, polo ground (horse back riding would be amazing for picture taking or possibly a horse drawn carriage), ranch, along a golf course or lake. The more beautiful the surroundings, the better. It will make the guests stay that much more enjoyable too. If the B&B is a short road trip away, and the whole guest list is staying in the same place, arriving the day before, you may wish to do something with them as a welcome. You could arrange for various activities to get the families to mingle like horse back riding, golfing, chartering a boat ride or fishing.

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Wedding brunch ideas…perfect for a Sunday morning ceremony

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Today I’m going to a morning wedding followed by a wedding brunch so figured I would show you pretty brunch ideas. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meals so this is right up my alley. This could also be used as a last departure get-to-gether for out of town guests when doing a destination wedding, bridal or baby shower, mother/father’s day, a sleepover or morning after bachelorette slumber party…

Beverage Stations

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Have a Mimosa and a Bloody Mary station as well as hot chocolate and coffee area (one serving hot and iced coffees)…

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Small bowls and utensils for garnishes and ingredients…

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Carefully label items on craft paper…

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Use chalkboard spraypaint to cover glass in frames to write menus and details…

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Place books and boxes under tablecloths to give a multi-layered look…

Food Stations

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French toast sticks in small glasses with syrup are pretty displays…

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Anything on a kabob looks fancy like this fruit and donut hole skewer…

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You can have fried chicken wings and waffles already made in warming containers with small bowls for syrup…

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Cupcake tiers will hold smaller items like mini muffins and pastries (store bought ones are fine, guests won’t know)…

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Yogurt, granola and omelette stations will encourage guests to mingle…

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Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruit can easily be grabbed by the stem as guests arrive so they can have something to munch on until their table is called…

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Whether you do different flavored waffles or just different syrups, this is sure to be a hit…

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If you have a biscuit bar, have a variety of jams and jellys as well as butters and gravy. You may want to include sausage patties, eggs and cheese for those who want to make a biscuit sandwich..

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Cinnabons on skewers and pancake station are a must. As a favor think about homemade granola in mason jars. Oh and don’t forget the dispensers for cereal.
Did I miss anything? See if your find more inspiration here or from this vintage brunch

Now I’m hungry…

{All images via my party foodie board on Pinterest}

Magical Wedding Nights…

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Having celebrated my best friend’s wedding Saturday night, I’m in wedding planning mode. Not for myself but imaginery wedding clients. If I ever get to style for a reception again, here is what I’d suggest: chandeliers, white paper lanterns, tree … Continue reading

Pretty Valentine’s Kate Spade hearts inspired wedding & great tips for planning

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Usually I think heart themed stuff csme come across as cheesy but not this wedding.
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What I loved most was their unique guestbook idea…

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They created a private Instagram account to keep funny, old, and embarrassing photos of all the guests from Facebook and then had them turned into cards on Printstagram. She wrote their names and table assignments on each, spray painted wooden hearts, hot glued them to mini magnets via & made heart magnets as favors. Then the magnets held the photo place cards on magnetic boards from Ikea.

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Here are their tips: Use planners & Pinterest for gathering ideas and inspiration. Anything you can’t do yourself, buy from Etsy. You can’t do it all, so choose you battles. Do the DIY projects that you can, but don’t kill yourself over trying to do everything.
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The bride said there were some projects she wanted to do but decided it wasn’t worth the stress, so she bought them already made or delegated helpful friends & family.

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Their food was casual and messy so they opted out of super nice china and linen napkins instead using disposable bamboo plates and cutlery/napkins from Ikea. They didn’t want to spend a lot on paper goods so they skipped the programs and one of the bridesmaids made the menus.

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They spent a little more to have the sequin linens, real flowers (put together by their planners), and the gray and white striped fabric for the tables. You can see more from their wedding in my champagne sequin tablecloth post. The bride advises spening money on the parts that are most important. I will like to add that details are important but some things will go unnoticed so don’t get so caught up in things that guests won’t remember.
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{Images seen on Green Wedding Shoes, photography: Michèle M. Waite // venue: Smog Shoppe, soda favors: Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops, Pasadena,sequin linens: La Tavola Linen}

Design Inquiries: Where can I find the champaign colored sequin tablecloth….

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I first blogged about the above pic in this post. Zoe, who is planning her wedding and looking for a sequin tablecloth has asked me where to locate the one above. After aome searching, I found the whole wedding on … Continue reading

Winter Wonderland: Christmas & weddings

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My favorite holiday looks are winter wonderland themes because of the branches, creating snow with luxe fabric like faux fur, illuminating candlelight, crystals and acrylic for ice. I put together a few collages with affordable pieces to create the scene in your home from stores like my beloved pier1 & Z Gallerie.

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