Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Special Thank You!

I wanted to send out a special huge-ginormous-tremendous Thank You to our clients, for without you, there would be no us!
MasterPiece Weddings had a terrific year! Our Studio turned One, and you all love it here! And we love you!

We have been to some beautiful places in 2008 - and we look forward to spending more wedding days with you in 2009!

Thank You especially for entrusting your special day to us, and we thank you for the honor of working with you!

You are the best!  Happy New Year!

Happy New 2009!

As we all reflect on what 2008 as brought us, and reigning in 2009, I am reminded that 2008, although not an easy year, and brings lots of hope and for what is to come. has brought me closer to my family and friends.

This year has been a fantastic year for MasterPiece Weddings, and I am so, oh so, grateful for that.

I am thankful for my business associates, especially for Kristin, for without her, I promise you I wouldn’t have half the hair on my head that is there now.

I am so grateful for my husband that has been there for me without question, and backed me in every crazy endeavor that I have dove head first into.

I am thankful for my heath, and for God giving me the vision to do Let’s Eat Cake! {which is coming up in less than 2 months!!!!!} I am so excited for 2009, and the hope and joy that it has already given me!

And especially, a BIG HUGE thank you to all of YOU that read this blog, and contribute in the comments and email, you are always a ginormous inspiration to me!!!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Inspiration

In Florida, the weather has been un-seasonable warm. Unlike the rest of the United States. Two weeks ago we were in the 20s and 30s, this week it's been in the 70s - it's difficult to get into the spirit of the holidays... so we inspire ourselves.

Bride with Bouquet,White Cosmo, Pearls, Cake, Square Fabric, Ring Bearer, White Tux, White Centerpiece, Table Setting, Pillow- Cake2, Pearl Candle, Shells, White Tent-

Monday, December 29, 2008

After The Holidays!

We have gotten a number of emails asking what the protocol is after the holidays. To write a thank you note, or to not write a note- that is the question.

Well, this can be gone back and forth on - personally, I think that you should write a thank you note, regardless. Someone went out of their way to find something for you that they thought you’d like…regardless of the cost, they were thinking of you.

On the other hand… if your neighbor dropped off a plate of cookies, I don’t know that it necessarily deserves a long drawn out note, but if it was out of the blue… tradition shows that it deserves a mention of some kind.

So all in all- when in doubt, write a note.

Image Source

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!!

From all of us to all of you, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a super fabulous Happy New Year!

Our offices will be closed from December 24th through January 5th - except for Audrey and Nate's Wedding!

Have a Happy Holiday season, and I'll see you after the Seven Fishes Dinner!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


During this time of year we all tie lots of bows! But do you know how to tie the perfect bow? At I found a great step by step on how to tie, just the perfect bow!

1. Measure ribbon by wrapping the ribbon around the box twice. It is helpful to use a sharp pair of scissors when trimming your edges. Make sure to leave enough ribbon so you can trim the edges again, if necessary, after your bow is tied.
2. Tighten the ribbon around the box and with your right hand pull the length of ribbon on the left over and under to create a single tie, as you would when tying your shoe.
3. Place your thumb on your left hand to hold the tightness and pull the ribbon length of the right side up to create a loop.
4. Pull the loop over to the right as you use your left hand to take the ribbon length around the loop.
5. Pull ribbon through and under. Then pull up to create a second loop over the first loop.
6. Pull the two loop ends to create a even bow.
7. Tighten the bow to your desired length.
8. To create even edges, take both ribbon lengths on left and right, pull together to measure them at the same place which ensures they will be cut at the same length, and then cut at any angle you please.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Story of the 15 Foot Christmas Tree!

It all started with an idea. The idea that I wanted to put up and ginormously tall Christmas Tree. My husband was out of town, so I asked his best friend Chris to help. {with the promise I would make him a delicious Salmon dinner as a Thank You!} 2 Christmas Tree stands, a bunch of money and a bird nest… the tree was up.

So as I stood there at the grocery store {where they sold Christmas Trees and gave the profits to Charity} I fell in love with the biggest, largest, most beautiful tree E.V.E.R! It was a 15 Foot Tree… and the proceeds were going to charity, so what-the-hey!

6:30PM – I went to Publix got this HUGE tree, I had spotted it at lunchtime and knew that if they still had it after work, that I was going to buy it and surprise John when he came home from his business trip. The nice man loaded it up on top of the Wedding Mobile, and I proceeded to drive 2 miles an hour home

7:00PM- With the tree bottom bobbin’ up and down the top of the tree can be seen from the rearview mirror of the car – I am telling you it was huge!!! I get home and Chris and I roll it off the car, and then roll it into the back yard.

Chris gets out the chain saw and cuts at good 6 inches off the bottom. So that this huge tree can suck up all the water it wants.

7:30PM- Then we trim some of those pesky bottom branches, I run up into the attic get the handy tree stand down. And then we attempt to get the bottom of the tree into the plastic stand. Of course I was worried that it is not going to fit in the stand, and viola it fits!!!

Horary! Then we bring it in the house through the back, and attempt to get it upright, and then as we are heeving and hooeing all of a sudden the tree stand, bends in half!!! CRAP!

8:30PM- Okay, so dinner at 9:00… right! WRONG! Then Chris and I leave for Wal-Mart and buy a handy dandy new stand made for large trees, since we measured the base of the tree at about 5 3/4 inches we knew that it would fit, and it said it was made for a large trees up to 12' tall {what’s 3 feet amongst tree-friends}, okay, so we get it home and this time I go over to our neighbors house, and ask if he can help us get the heavy tree into the stand.

9:00PM - No dinner yet, Shane and Chris get the tree into the stand and up it goes and it all looks good, and we hear a settling noise, like the tree is settling into the stand, and then a loud crack-bam-craacckkkkk and then again a loud crack, the plastic stand, broke, cracked in half!!!!

Okay, so now I am frustrated and a bit peeved! I am going to get this dag gom tree up tonight if it is the death of me... We leave and go to the Christmas Tree place on the side of the road, and there is a sign that says "No Fall tree stand, the last stand you will ever have to buy, guarteed to be straight every time, takes 30 second to put up", okay so I ask the guy about it, and he says that he is closed. And started to walk away.

I proceed to say, “PUHLEASE All I need is a Christmas Tree stand! And He makes a face and says that everything is put away!” And I start working on the tears! Here they come, and then he pulls out this stand, that looks like the one my parents used in 1954 or maybe 1979, either way I was desperate!!

I said okay, what ever it costs no problem, I buy the stand, and then we bring it back to the house, and then Chris cannot find John's drill bits.{Remember, John is out of town and I wanted to suprise him with this glorious tree}

9:30PM- I am knocking on other neighbors doors asking if they have drill bits that will fit this tree, 5/8" drill bits, he did…, and then tada we had to bang it in with a hammer for about 5 minutes, okay it went in and then we put up the tree and then take down the twine that it holding it together, and then the tree is up!!

Well sort of, it is too wide now for the part of the living room we put it in, so I get the hedge trimmers and start tearing away at the back of tree so that the branches are not hitting the windows

10:30PM - We ate dinner, then I got enough energy to finishing trimming the bottom so that I could vacuum the carpet, because you know half the pine needles in the world were on the floor!

Then what do I see….a bird's nest in the tree, honestly, we just left it there, all Christmas!

So that is the story of the 15’ Christmas Tree, bigger isn’t always better.

PS- That stand - well the plastic dish underneath it broke, and then all of the water slowly leaked out and molded up our carpet... we had to replace all of our carpet in that room. All thanks to my dream of having a tall tree.

I wish you and yours and easy, relaxing, stress free Holiday Season!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baking Blunders!

As you probably already know, I love to bake! Pictured about is one of my almost-award winning pies, I entered it in the National Pie Baking Championship... it scored really well, but not well enough to win.
I hear all sorts of baking blunders this time of year, and I wanted you to have help if you kneaded it!
As home cooks begin pre-heating their ovens and preparing for the busy holiday baking season, some may find themselves in a sticky situation. For the third year, the Crisco® Pie Hotline – 1-877-FOR PIE TIPS (toll free) is available to offer expert advice for pie bakers who are in knead of a little help.

Last year, the Crisco Pie Hotline received thousands of calls from consumers around the country. Available 24-hours a day, the hotline offers baking tips, new time-saving hints and the opportunity to talk to a live Crisco Pie Pro.

Novice bakers as well as the most seasoned pie makers can find just what they need to help prepare this traditional holiday dessert.

Cookie Time!

I recently had these at a party and I just couldn't stop... I mean literally, I think I ate like 20 cookies! They are amazingly moist, and delicious! Try them for your next cookie swap, they make a gazillion cookies!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies


1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips. Stir in the walnuts if desired. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wedding Bee Pro!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of WeddingBee... but have you heard of the newest addition to the Weddingbee Family.... Weddingbee PRO!

Weddingbee PRO is a group blog about weddings, just like Weddingbee. But this blog will have real wedding *vendors*, blogging about weddings from the vendor side of the aisle. It’s the first group blog of its kind, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Hear from real vendors about what to do in sticky situations, what questions to ask, how to deal with problems easily! It's an amazing site, and I am thrilled to add it to my Google Reader!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Off.

Meet {from Left to Right} Caroline Johnson, Dan Hathcock, Jaye McCarthy, Angela Rennick, and ME!
What is time off? Honestly, I just don't know.
In fact, in my so-called Time Off... I spend it with people that inspire me to do better. People that make me happy. People I can learn from, and maybe they can learn from me.
It just so happens that last night was one of those time. I was invited to a Holiday Party, hosted by Dan Hathcock, and I was able to hang out with some of the most amazing women in the event planning industry.

Thanks Dan for hosting such a great party, and thanks Ladies for the great time!

Time of Giving!

Since it's the most wonderful time of the year, I was thinking of all of the ways I could give back. One of our favorite sites, UberBrides wants your help!

Incase you haven't heard of UberBrides, they are the opposite of a Bridezilla. A bride with style, class, panache. One who spends months preparing for her wedding, but then when the day comes, relaxes into the moment, and enjoys her new husband, family and friends.

Basically, you.

If you have tons of advice to give, and lots of trials and tribulations you've gone through, and have always wanted to blog about it, but needed an avenue to do so.

Now is your chance!

Whenever a bride now signs up at UberBride you can choose to have a FREE wordpress blog hosted at our site.

Why would they want to use instead of blogger or self hosting?

For some people Blogger can be challenging to use, and is sometimes tough to customize. Self-hosting is a pain in the rear. They will take care of everything! With just a few clicks you can easily start and update as many posts and photos as they want.

In the coming days they will be offering free templates for you to choose from, as well as a complete series of how to start a wedding blog, what topics to cover, and how to use the wordpress interface.

Now's your chance, sign up to be an UberBride today! You know you want to!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Meagan's Rockin' Sweet Sixteen!

You've seen this... it was our inspiration board for Meagan's Rockin' Sweet Sixteen Party, the party was this past weekend and it was a huge sucess!

Here are some photographs and the play-by-play:

{the invitation}
{Meagan's Awesome Birthday Cake!!!}
{Isn't it fantastical!!!}
{Meagan's Sweet Sixtini's} Pink - of course!
{Club 16 - was next door to the room the guests ate in... so they had their own club-like room}
{the Guest of Honor!! Meagan!!!!} Her big huge arrival!}
{We set up a Photo Booth for all the guests, they LOVED it!!}
This was our test shot.. Kristin and Emily look great, don't they?!?!?
Meagan, thanks for having us be apart of your birthday! It was a blast!
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Contest Alert!

How would you like a $100 Gift Certificate from Wedding Paper Diva's!!! All you have to do is leave a comment below!

We know that the cold winter months can be, well cold. So to provide a touch of inspiration during the cold winter months, we are sponsoring a “destination wedding” invitation contest!

The conntest will run until December 21st at midnight - and you can win a $100 gift certificate from Wedding Paper Diva's!

Just leave a comment below and we'll randomly select a winner- anyone can enter! If you love paper - what are you waiting for, a $100 gift certificate can be yours!

Tell your friends, your neighbors, your dog!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Go Elf Yourself!

How fun! Last year, I elf'ed my family, and this year, as a suprise Kristy from Posh Pastry, elf'ed Kristin and I, and I have to say the new format is hysterical!

I don't think I laughed this hard in a long time!

So, make someone laugh, go Elf Yourself!!!!

Winter White...revisited

As the Holiday Party season is upon us, I was thinking about what to wear. Obviously the cute red number that I got on sale at White House Black Market is top runner, but you can't wear the same dress to all of the parties, right?

The other week, while finding inspiration for an inspiration board, I mentioned that I was headed to a party, and the girls in my office suggested forced me to wear a white dress.

{Katie - from Sweetwater, Me, Jessica - Solutions Bridal}

I was honestly, hesitant, you don't wear white after Labor Day - at least that is what I've always thought. I was concerned that wearing a white {even Winter White} might be perceived as passe. But, frankly, I kind of liked it.

How do you feel about wearing white after Labor Day? {Just not to a wedding.... as a guest...)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cookie Time!

The holidays are right around the corner!! Here's my favorite sugar cookie recipe, decorate them as you wish, this year I decided to get fancy - check out the cookies I made last weekend.

You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe, as long as it is a sturdy cut out style cookie, or use the recipe that follows:


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
To Decorate (as pictured above):
Royal Icing: (make 2 batches - color one red with lots of red food coloring, but add extra Confectioner's Sugar to make sure it's thick)

3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons water


Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7 to 10 minutes, or until icing forms peaks.

Tip: Keep icing covered with a wet kitchen towel at all times. Icing can dry out quickly.

First with a thin pointed pastry bag tip (or a very small hole cut in a ziploc bag) circle the whole outside of the cookie with a thick icing, either red or white. Let set and dry.

Thin out icing enough to spread.

With thin pointed tip or the whole in the bag pool the icing onto the cookie - then take the other color and create circles or stripes, then take a tooth pick and run through the design.

Have fun with it! They are yum!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a Beautiful Wedding!

I know I've said before that we have the best clients, and frankly I mean that from the bottom of my heart! But Lindsay and Stephen were different, Lindsay was wearing a pink dress, and not a gushy, blush romantic pink, I mean PINK! And it was totally her! And she rocked it!

Lindsay and I quickly hit it off with our love of mountain biking, so we talked and talked about biking and how the clutziest people {namley her and I} find a sport that we love so much, but can get hurt so badly doing it...but it doesn't matter. {Love so much - they tied it into the wedding, not once, but twice!!!} Check out their amazing get away vehicle!

We had the best time planning their wedding!!! And now that the pictures are in, you can see just how amazing in-person this wedding was! From their long time friend marrying them, the incredible cake topper, the funnest wedding cake EVER... and well, see for youself!

So what do you think?

Most Amazing Photographs: K-Gallery (Matt and Krystal are funtastic!)
Incredible Florals and Decor: Unforgettable Events
Fun Cake: Publix (Westgate)
Wedding & Reception Venue: Sweetwater Branch Inn
DJ: Jay's Entertainment, Rodney Rules!
String Trio: Azalea Strings
Makeup Artist: Kacey Cielo
Dress: by Lazaro, from Solutions Bridal
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