Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bridal Emergency Kit

Latest District Bride article :)

Ghosts, goblins, zombies . . . pretty scary stuff . A torn bridesmaids strap, a stain on your bridal and any other last minute bridal emergencies now that is downright frightening! Don’t worry , I have compiled a last of item that are a must have for any bride to have in their emergency kit. You can thank me later.
Bride Emergency Kit
∙ Sewing Kit complete with various colored threads and needles.
∙Tampons/ Sanitary Napkins
∙ Instant Stain Removal (Shout Wipes or Tide to go Pen)
∙ Bobby pins/ hair clips
∙ Pain Reliever ie Aspirin/ Ibuprofen
∙ Antacid
∙ White  chalk to cover up any smudges on the gown ( I have used white chalk for a few brides in the past to cover up slight stains. Just rub the white chalk gently over the stain to cover it.)
∙ Clear nail polish for stocking runs
∙ Corsage pins ( I don’t think there hasn’t been a wedding when these haven’t been used)
∙ Extra Earring backs
∙ Panty hose
∙ Hem tape, which can also double as body tape to keep clevage covered.
∙ Small scissors
∙ Krazy glue
∙ Breath Mints
∙ Band aids
∙ Tissues
∙ Hair Spray
∙Static Remover
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dining Divas at Friend's Cafe

Katie is from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and a transfer student with one year left at Clemson University. Amanda is from the suburbs of Atlanta and a senior in her final semester at Clemson University.
The Pre-Game
Katie: I was excited to hear that there was a new café in Clemson. I had driven past it a few times and noticed the snazzy red awnings and tables set up outside. I knew we had to visit.
Amanda: Katie and I were in the mood for a light lunch. She mentioned that a café had opened next to the high fashion store "Bella" called "Friends Café." I was excited to try a new place that was nearby on College Avenue but avoided downtown traffic.
The Scene
Katie: The outside is very inviting and fresh and encourages you to get a Seattle's Best coffee and enjoy the weather. Inside the café , it's very welcoming and has clean lines and a V.I.P. section with recliners and a flat screen television. One of our favorite divas, Marilyn Monroe, is recognized, and her picture is displayed on the walls. I didn't know this place was a hookah bar (no traces of the smell) until I saw the hookahs behind the register.
Amanda: Located next to "Bella" and across from "Eddie Spaghetti" is Friends Café. On the outside it looks like any typical café with outdoor seating available. I could not believe what it looked like inside. Immediately to your right is a corner that has a flat screen above a cream leather couch and two reclining leather chairs. Red, fluffy ropes accent the corner to make whomever sitting there feel "VIP." Booths sit against the sides while high tables are scattered throughout the middle. A few Marilyn Monroe pictures adorn the walls. When the cashier lady told me they are also a hookah café, this surprised me. The café's interior design follows a red and cream color theme, which gives it a nice modern clean look. I have never been to a hookah bar, but I figured a typical one would not be decorated like this.
A Look at the Menu
Katie: There are many appetizers, sandwiches, entrees and a kid's menu to enjoy. They even offer various dessert choices of cookies, cheesecake or muffins. The hookah menu lets you make your own combo with various fruits and flavors to choose from. They also offer their most popular combos with a choice of a refill. Diva-approved combinations are the Britney Spears (Peach and Melon) and the Paris Hilton (Melon and Strawberry).
Amanda: The menu of Friends Café features a variety of teas, coffees, salads, sandwiches, burgers, kabobs and Mediterranean food. Currently, no alcohol is being served. Friends Café also offers a children's menu. In addition to food and drinks, there is a hookah menu. Different flavors of hookah can be smoked alone or mixed to create combos. Tobacco-free herbal molasses flavors are also available.
The Taste Test
Katie: I ordered the chicken sandwich, and it was delicious! It was perfectly seasoned and not too heavy. I got a side of Mustokhiar (plain yogurt mixed with diced cucumber and mint) and that was a great side, (try dipping pita into it). Amanda got the side of hummus with pita. I tried the hummus and pita, and that was a fantastic side as well.
Amanda: One thing that I got excited about at Friends Café was that they serve hummus. I absolutely love hummus with pita and had to get it with my meal. I ordered a blackened chicken sandwich and substituted the chips with a side order of hummus. The sandwich was the perfect size for a light lunch and the side of hummus was just enough to share with my fellow Dining Diva. Katie ordered a side of Mustokhiar, which she insisted I dip a piece of the pita bread in. I tried it as a dip, but I preferred the hummus better.
Katie: I am really excited for Friend's Café. It has a fun, hip atmosphere with great food. The hookah bar is a great addition to downtown Clemson and provides another social opportunity for those 18 and older to enjoy. I think I'll head back and try one of the hookah combinations.
Amanda: I loved the atmosphere of Friends Café, it felt very chic. I loved the "VIP" corner. I still cannot believe there is a hookah bar in Clemson. Who knew? I will have to come back with friends and try it. Especially because of the Friends Café combos called the Britney Spears and the Paris Hilton. Smoking hookah is less harmful than cigarette smoking is, but still hazardous to your health. It should be done in moderation, and make sure to read the Friends Café warning about side effects listed on their hookah menu.

Dining Duo Griffens + El Charro


Nick: We wanted to get something downtown and wanted a place where we could get some drinks and watch some of the Wednesday night baseball game. Great outdoor patio and a cool night made Griffin's a solid choice.
Katie: I love the location of Griffin's and wanted to sit on its patio so I could people watch while Nick watched baseball. Besides the great layout, I heard they had different drink specials each night.
The Scene
Nick: Separated into an indoor and outdoor section with a very sports bar feel to it, the nice TVs make it so no seat misses any of the action, and plenty of drink specials for pitchers and wings make it a prime place to set up shop with a group while watching a game. On ladies' night they have a $2 "you call it," which is pretty great but it's only for the ladies so guys, we'll stick to the pitchers of Bud Light.
Katie: Long gone are the menu choices named after different athletes, with a revamped menu and the Griffin logo displayed on the doors and servers' shirts, this place is looking pretty snazzy. They do in fact have different specials each night but it isn't just limited to drinks; they have food specials ranging from tacos to pasta. As for my drink selection, I did the ladies' night "you call it" $2 cosmopolitan (which was delicious and smooth).
A Look at the Menu
Nick: Sandwiches, salads, appetizers, a very pub fare mentality. They have a couple lesser-known beers on tap; it's your classic bar food.
Katie: For the pub fare mentality they also had more salad selections and a wider range of appetizers, such as fried green tomatoes.
The Taste Test
Nick: I decided to go with a Magic Hat to quench my thirst, which was a nice change from Busch Light, and a Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich. The sandwich definitely left something to be desired - I expected a little more flavor out of it - and the fries just seemed a touch too bland seasoning wise. Katie's salad was made with all fresh ingredients, which is sometimes rare in bars.
Katie: I ordered a Santa Fe salad, a side of fried green tomatoes, and another drink (it was a long week). The Santa Fe salad had fresh ingredients and came with green peppers and sliced avocado. It was served with cilantro lime vinaigrette, which was a little too tangy for my preference. The fried green tomatoes had bleu cheese on them, which was a nice touch, and the dipping sauce was delicious. The second drink I ordered was a nuts and berries. The nuts and berries was not part of the $2 "you call it" but it was a delicious creamy drink, preferable for dessert.
Nick: With the location and atmosphere, and of course the almighty drink special that seems to be a requirement for any downtown establishment, Griffin's is a good place to grab some wings and brews. The food, although not what I expected, is a few tweaks to being a must-go-to place. The TV placement is key because it separates Griffin's from the other sports bars downtown. You have a TV in clear vision pretty much anywhere you turn, and being a sports nut this is very helpful when your team is on.
Katie: Griffin's is solid choice, when you want to eat or get a drink downtown with a nice view and breeze. It is a sports bar, and the ample televisions provide great access to the games.

El Charro
Katie- With a great assortment of Mexican restaurants in the Clemson area, I was interested in seeing how the newest one, El Charro, would compare with the others.
Nick- El Charro was closer than all the other Mexican restaurants being right across from Bi-Lo, and they always have tiki torches going every night, so I figured we should give it a try.
The Scene
Katie- El Charro is vibrantly painted in an orange palette that allows for an upbeat, fun mood of the restaurant. There is an outdoor seating area and a separate bar area allowing options for seating preference. Nick and I arrived at lunch time and were promptly seated by the friendly staff. Lunch time is definitely more laid back than the advertised night scene which boasts drink specials on tequila shots, margaritas and beer.
Nick- They have a lot of colors going on for certain, but it truly ass a more authentic Mexican vibe to it. From the music to the décor, they have it down pretty well but still touch it off with a great HDTV in the bar. The patio will definitely be nice once it cools down a little bit more.
A Look at the Menu
Katie- Standard Mexican favorites such as fajitas, burritos and nachos as well as seafood, a separate lunch menu, house specials such as pollo fundido ( grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed onions and cheese dip, served with rice beans and a salad, very yummy) and the option to make your own combo with vegetarian options available.
Nick- Your standard combos of burritos, tacos, fajitas, rice and beans take no variation here; it's Mexican - you expect the normal items, and they do not let you down. But looking at the table tent I noticed something very intriguing. Thursday night one dollar tequila, yes that's right $1 per shot, as well as $1 drafts, and we all know the old saying "Tequila makes her clothes fall off."
The Taste Test
Katie- I ordered a taco salad, a margarita on the rocks and split cheese dip with Nick. The complimentary chips and salsa is definitely my favorite in Clemson. The cheese dip was served warm and was great mixed with the salsa. The taco salad was served in a tortilla bowl and consisted of chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and beans. The salad was not overwhelmed with sour cream and had plenty of beans in it. (I was also happy to see that it did not have a chicken bone in it, a concern I have when ordering taco salads, since I have found bones in other restaurant's taco salads in the past.) The margarita had the perfect proportions and was not overwhelmed with tequila or lacking salt. I'm not that much of a beer drinker, but I took a sip of Nick's Dos Equis Amber, and it was very smooth and refreshing.
Nick- Well I started with the biggest container of beer they had a 32 oz. of Dos Equis Amber which was $3.25, not at happy hour when it is only $2.75. The queso cheese was better then Monterrey's and Moe's. I opted to get the burrito and enchilada with rice. A bountiful feast is how I would describe the potion size. I even took some home, and at about 4 a.m. Thursday that enchilada was still delicious.
Katie- El Charro has a vibrant personality and tasty, fresh Mexican food. The atmosphere is perfect for
a lunch catching up with friends or on an evening of margaritas on the patio. I will definitely be back again, to try out their daiquiris and house specials. P.S.They deliver too!
Nick-Nicer than the other choices you have in Clemson, reasonably priced but still a bit higher then the Monterrey's. Thursday night is definitely the time to go as a replacement for the typical downtown Clemson routine. Cheap drinks and reasonable prices on large portions of food make it a good place to take a date, or you can just rely on the cheap beer and shots to find a date.


Dining Duo- Jittery Joes + Brioso

Looking at The Tiger ( Clemson U's newspaper) I found a bunch of the old Dining Duo and Dining Divas articles. Aw memories. . .  So here they are!
The Dining Duo
Jittery Joe's Coffee
Katie is from the suburbs of Washington, D.C, and on her victory lap as a senior. After former Diva Amanda graduated Clemson (and is now a graduate student at Georgia State), she decided on recruiting Nick to bring a male perspective and some red meat to the column. Nick is originally from Maine and has grown up with family in the restaurant business.
Katie- What is a college town without its fair share of coffee shops? Lucky for Clemson students we have both corporate and local coffee shops. I have only been to Jittery Joes by use their drive-thru. I was excited when Nick was groggy and needed coffee so we decided that a coffee shop would be our first endeavor for the semester.
Nick- I was really dragging from my long day of classes, so what better way to get a jolt of energy for studying then some coffee. So KS and I went to Jittery Joe's, is a coffee shop located right near Crawford Falls. It's a short drive from on or off campus, making it a perfect refueling station on the way to class or place to take a study date too.
The Scene
Katie- The inside of Jittery Joe's is very spacious and inviting, decorated in earth tones allowing for the perfect setting for studying, catching up with friends or group meetings (they have an upstairs you can rent out, which is a lot more exciting than a crowded library cubby).
Other bonuses are merchandise, take-home coffee, gift cards and frequent coffee cards (down 10 drinks and the next is on them).
Nick- The open-air atmosphere really makes it a place for meeting people: there was a group studying at a table, and a few people studying in the large room upstairs. The decor is not overbearing but still adds a nice touch. The layout of the tables makes it easy for a longer line to get to the counter without interrupting the busy students nearby.
A Look at the Menu
Katie- Newly added is the sandwich menu where you choose your meat, cheese and bread, and there are specialty sandwiches such as the rueben, chicken salad on a croissant and the Jittery Joes Club (ham, turkey and bacon).
Besides sandwiches, breakfast is offered with choices of biscuits, bagels, muffins, cereal, danishes and an assortment of baked goods, including a heavenly chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
The coffee ranges from your basic decaf and iced to espressos, mochas, hot stuff and cold treats.
Nick- Obviously they have a wide variety of coffee, and coffee drinks. I was especially surprised with their new sandwich selection, offering a bunch of different breads and meats, this is definitely a nice change of pace in place of your standard muffin, pastry, scone montage found at every other coffee shop. The crackkacino is a cup of coffee with 4 shots of espresso, this of course is not for the faint of heart; but for the last minute, all-night studier (like myself), this is liquid gold. There is also a large selection of frozen drinks which the lady folk seem to enjoy, but I'm more of a straight coffee man myself.
The Taste Test
Katie- In the past, I have stuck by my tried-and-true vanilla chai Frosty Joe. Their frozen chai is delicious and mixed well, which is a rarity for those who enjoy frozen chai lattes.
This time I tried a "lady folk" drink, the Ying Yang Mocha. I had mine iced, and it is a latte with dark and white chocolate that was refreshing and not overly sweet.
Nick- I decided to tone it down from the Crackkacino and opted for the Shot in the Dark, which comes with 2 shots of espresso. The coffee is top-notch, on a level with that of a Starbucks but at a much more student-friendly price. Even though it was close to 10 at night the coffee was still fresh, which if you've ever had old coffee, it's terrible. I would personally recommend the Shot in the Dark to anyone looking for a good burst of energy.
Katie- Jittery Joes is my recommended coffee place due to its drive-thru, upbeat atmosphere and great drinks.
Nick- Out of all the coffee shops in Clemson, Jittery Joe's has to be my personal favorite. The quality and variety of their menu is as good as any, but where they really take the lead is their prices. For any cost-conscience student, this is the place to go for a good cup of Joe.

Brioso  Fresh Pasta
Nick: So a new place in downtown Clemson, amongst the endless supply of sandwich shops, there had to be different to find here. Luckily, Brioso came to town; it has a great pasta menu with equally impressive prices. So as soon as they opened, we had to give it a try.
Katie: With the past weeks of construction, I was eager to see what was going to be new downtown. After going downtown at night and seeing the beginning stages of the restaurant, I was eager to see the finished product.
The Scene
Nick: This place is in Clemson, S.C.??? When you walk in, you place your order and they hand you a pepper grinder. At first I was wondering, okay, how are they going to figure out where we sat? Every pepper grinder is different, so all the servers have to do is find where it is. The atmosphere is that of a city Italian restaurant, and no, I'm not talking about the Olive Garden in Anderson. The high ceilings and close tables create a nice noise level without having to yell across the table to get some more bread. The open kitchen allows you to see what's going on, which is a nice change.
Katie: Beautiful interior with artwork and an impressive-looking bar. We sat at a table in the back near the giant cappuccino machine. From our table we got to watch the hubbub of waiters and diners and felt as if we were in a city.
A Look at the Menu
Nick: Pasta, pasta, and more pasta, it is an endless mixing and matching. You pick your pasta; I went with the five-cheese ravioli. Then onto your sauces, I opted for the Sorrentina, which was a mix of chopped tomatoes, hunks of fresh mozzarella, and basil. Also, I opted for a Stella Artois as opposed to wine, because I'm a beer guy.
Katie: Besides pasta, there are appetizers, salads and paninis. They currently don't have everything on their menu, but there were still many options available. Oh and did I mention dessert? There are traditional Italian desserts as well as a full gelato bar.
The Taste Test
Nick: If I knew any Italian, I'd use some adjectives to describe the food. I do not know any Italian, and I assume most of you reading this do not either. So plain and simple, this place is a knock out. I've eaten pasta in the North End of Boston, in Little Italy in NYC, and this is right up there and for a fraction of the cost. This is officially my first must-eat place of downtown Clemson.
Katie: Il cibo italiani ed il vino era deliziosi (sorry Nick). I ordered the artichoke ravioli with the arrabiata sauce (spicy red sauce), and it was delicious! I also took a bite off Nick's plate of the very fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. The bread in the beginning was served with olive oil and had a hint of rosemary to it. Even though I'm more of a martini girl (I like my men how I like my drinks, strong), I tried the Red Truck red wine, and it was excellent. Then for dessert, I couldn't resist the gelato bar. Even though it's gotten pretty chilly out, I ordered the tiramisu gelato and was an instant fan.
Nick: Great food always makes for a great time; the atmosphere makes it even better. Brioso is top notch food, with great employees, and a scene that is extremely refreshing. Get your friends together or ask that girl in class you've been too nervous to ask out, and go enjoy some fresh pasta.
Katie: I will definitely be going back! Come to Brioso and experience la dolce vita.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fist Pumping the Night Away!

Keeping with the costume and fun party themes . . .   New Jersey Theme Party! 
You can be a cake boss, from the shore, or a housewife.

Attire : Animal Print, big hair, bump its, gelled hair, chains, t-shirt, wife beaters, ed hardy, big shades
Decor: Signs for the night clubs or estates, gaudy, gold, lights, tables to flip
Extras : techno music, jello shots, and lots of attitude!


Gold Angel Statues

From Estates to Night Clubs, we had the food upstairs in the Brownstone and techno music and lights in Karma the night club.

I bought the boys studded tight t-shirts from T.J Max. Have a signing board decorated as the italian flag.


The Situation baby

Fist Pumping!

I did this for my last birthday party and it was a big hit! This is also a great theme for greek life or even a great halloween costume !

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Past Halloween Pictures!

Happy Almost Halloween! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from past Halloween :)Wicked Witch, Dorothy,Hot Tin Woman

You know you want to jump on the things!

Aw downtown Clemson!

Something about a man in black . . .

Gamma Sigs and the Gingerbread Man!


Pac Man loose in Fell's Point

Last year my friends went as different Disney Characters this year we are going as different tv channels!
See you in Baltimore on Saturday! Also Wedding Belle has had over 500 visits wew hew!

Gotta love a bunny!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Testudo, Tigers and Hoyas. . . oh my!

How to incorporate your Alma Mater  in your wedding .
This is my latest article for District Bride Guide .
Weddings give you an opportunity to showcase your personality; whether it’s a love for nature with an outdoor venue or by celebrating your heritage by having a bagpiper perform.  If you met your sweetheart in college or you are a huge sport fan, why not include your university in your wedding.  Here are a few ideas on how to do so.
Venue- Many college campuses have venues available. Research the university about any eligibility requirements about renting the venue.   University of Maryland’s Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center has many different options for rental and has flexibility . Georgetown University has three chapels to choose from if you are planning on having a Catholic wedding and you are a GU degree student, graduate, faculty, staff or a child of a faculty or staff member

Mascot – Check with your school’s athletic / alumni association or search Mascot Request to see if you can make a donation to have your favorite mascot visit your wedding. George Washington University gives you the option of having George, Big George or Hippo to come to your wedding   University of Maryland’s feared turtle Testudo, would love to crash your wedding
Grooms cake / Cake topper - The grooms cake is a traditional southern fixture which has gained in popularity. The Grooms cake is playful and reflects the groom’s interests. A grooms cake to celebrate your college can be made with a picture of a stadium, school symbol or of the mascot.

Song- Have the Dj play your Alma Mater’s fight song. I did this at my wedding and it was a lot of fun! My sister in law, a graduate from University of Delaware, and her sorority sisters linked arms and sang their sorority’s song at her wedding, which made for great pictures.
Garter- Of course there are so many accessories you can get and decorate with your school but the garter is the cheekiest of them all! You can go to to see if they have your school available.  
Here is one of my best friends and beautiful bride Liz getting some help from her wonderful Maid of Honor (yours truly) with her Clemson garter. I also had on a Clemson garter along with a pink toss for my wedding.
Colors- From attire to flowers and everything in between choose your University’s colors.
My dear friend LeAnne had Clemson’s orange and purple in her flowers as well as her bridesmaid dresses.  There’s me, second from the right on the bottom rocking the orange. 
Pennant/ Flag- Make sure your photographer gets a picture with any fellow students or alumni while holding the appropriate flag or Pennant.  This is also great to do for grade school and high school friends.
Perhaps it’s all this great college football and the fond memories of college life that inspired this article. Either way, go out and plan your wedding to reflect your great memories and loves. If you have incorporated your alma mater into your wedding, let me know!
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So Inspired

I just love inspiration boards, maybe it's all the years of making collages when I was younger. Many stylists, wedding planners and designers use inspiration boards to evoke a certain feel or story about their latest project. For wedding planning it is a wonderful tool, since you can gather pictures of your favorite things or ideas you have for your wedding and share them with your planner, florist, designer etc etc! Besides being useful they are alot of fun to make, you can go to or to make your own!

I made this last one using big photo lab :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken Chili

It's starting to get pretty chilly out so why don't you cuddle up with this awesome chicken chili recipe. It's from a Paula Deen Magazine and is always a hit.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Preparing for Bridal Expos

Another old article I wrote. :)

Ah bridal expo season . . . the hectic but very resourceful rite of passage for a bride. After being bombarded with vendors and having a sugar high from tasting five different cake samples, one can get a bit frazzled at these events.  A bridal expo / fair are a great way to meet many vendors under one roof.  With professionals ranging from florists to realtors, you will have access to all of these talented resources and a shopping bag full of flyers, information and party favors.
     You can easily find these expos by using an internet search engine or by asking vendors you’re working with if they will be appearing at or know of a local bridal fair. If your reception venue is primarily for weddings they may host their own open house with a staged wedding reception and have their preferred vendors in attendance as well.
     When arriving at the expo be aware that there is usually an entrance fee around $10 and bring a datebook. Many vendors will give you a percentage off their product if you book them for an appointment or even for your wedding on the spot.
     Another wise bride idea to save time is to print up labels beforehand with your contact information. The majority of vendors will be asking for your information and the labels allow for a quick exchange instead of handwriting your information 200 times.
      If you don’t want to give out your e-mail, create a free e-mail just for your wedding. Many vendors solicit information and give out coupons through e-mail and social networking sites. In fact I just got e-mailed a coupon for a free cupcake from a bakery near my reception, talk about a sweet deal. Google, yahoo and hotmail all offer free e-mail accounts so create your own fun wedding themed login such as megandpathitched or heartbreakertomrs for all your wedding emails. After the wedding you can delete that account and not have to worry about your work inbox getting cluttered with wedding information. 
     Besides all of the information from vendors bridal shows have many perks including fashion shows, raffles, cakes, appetizers and free stuff!  Some expos may put your name in a drawing for a honeymoon or even give the bride a free magazine subscription for attending. At some of the larger expos there may be a “groom’s corner” complete with big screen televisions showing sports games with recliners. 
     Large bridal expos can be daunting, and if you have some of your bridal party willing to go, give them a task. At the last bridal expo I was at I had one bridesmaid putting raffle tickets in different vendor’s boxes and my maid of honor scouting out for vendors I still needed.
     When you talk with a potential vendor, get a feel for their personality. If a vendor seems very pushy or rude keep in mind they may retain this attitude during your wedding.  Seek out vendors you still need, so you don’t waste anyone’s time. When you do find a vendor whose work and personality you like, bookmark or rip off a corner of their information. Doing so it will later remind you that you liked this particular vendor, trust me after talking to 12 photographers, the memory gets a little hazy and the ripped corner reminds me to check out their website. I found my photographer and videographer this way, and they are amazing! 
     Alright so you have your labels printed with your name and your fun wedding e-mail, datebook, and bridesmaids with a task.  Enjoy the day, get inspired, and meet professionals who can help make your wedding dream into a reality.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lilly Pulitzer Wedding Gowns!

Lilly has launched a 2011 collection of bridal gowns ( finally) ! The collection will feature 12 dress with her classic embellishments  and some with a pop of color and preppy touches.

Love the pink in this one!

Perfect for a garden wedding!

The ribbon is a sweet way  to highlight the waist.
View the collection and see where you can find them near you at

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Say I do to your Wedding dress

An old article I wrote. :)

It’s always smart to educate yourself about an important purchase and your wedding dress is the Grand Poobah of clothing purchases. Help prepare yourself for this milestone experience with my very own ”Do’s and Don’ts of Bridal Gown Shopping.” 
  • Don’t- Bring a huge entourage. Trying on bridal gowns is a very special experience you may want to share with your closest friends and family (for me personally I’m not buying unless someone sheds a tear) however everyone has an opinion. If you are having a fairytale wedding complete with horse and a carriage with your eye on a tiara listening to your cousin who just had a Nightmare Before Christmas themed wedding and donned a black mini gown may not have the same vision of your perfect dress. That being said bring those whose taste you trust and will give you honest and helpful constructive criticism.  The less people who see the gown means a bigger  wow factor and reveal on your wedding day. 
  • Don’t- Wear heavy make- up or a lot of jewelry. Obviously you will accessorize and be made up on your wedding day, however you will be trying on multiple dresses and neither of us want your make up coming off on the dress or your jewelry getting caught on them. It’s also great to have pick your dress first  then accessorize it later with your bling or pearls. 
  • Don’t- Be turned off from your dress for something that can easily be changed. Don’t let the color of the dress sway you , most dresses come in various shades of white, ivory, and other fun colors such as champagne or pink . Color can also most likely be changed on bows, sashes and other embellishments. A dress can be made fuller by easily adding a crinoline skirt underneath it. Also many manufacturers can change the length of the train, neckline and strap options.  

  • Do- Have an open mind. Try on different styles of dresses especially if you are trying dresses on for the first time. A dress on the hanger and a dress on you are two separate things.
  • Do- Know yourself. Even though I mentioned that it is great to explore different styles and cuts, know your body. For example if you are very petite you may get lost in a large ball gown or if you are a bustier bride  you don’t want to keep pulling at your strapless gown all evening. 
  • Do-Wear appropriate undergarments. Chances are you may be wearing some form of shape wear on your wedding day to ensure a seamless look. When in doubt Spanx it out. Strapless bras are a smart idea to wear too especially if you are interested in strapless, halter, or a delicate strapped dress.
  • Do- Consider your wedding theme and date. Let your bridal consultant know the look and feel you are trying to encompass at your wedding. If you are having a black tie wedding by all means dress up and get that ball gown. If a beach wedding is more your style opt for lighter fabrics and keep in mind that sand and delicate materials with a long train don’t mix.
  • Do- Keep in mind your budget. Alterations to the dress are typically not included in the sale price. Sample/ Trunk sales are a great option to purchase designer dresses at a fraction of the price. If you fall in love with a dress on the in store there may be the option to buy that dress off the rack at a reduced price. If you are on a tight budget try browsing the bridesmaid dresses, we can often order them in white/ivory.
  • Do- Choose the dress that you want your beloved to see you walking down the aisle in. Bring on the tears!

1st Article for District Bride Guide

1st Article for District Bride Guide!

It’s hard to ignore that Washingtonians take pride and pleasure in sweet confections. With two reality shows starring a top cupcakery (DC Cupcakes filming Georgetown Cupcakes) and a certain Ace (Ace of Cakes starring Charm City Cakes) right in our backyard.
A tradition started by stacking layers of cake to promote fertility and good wishes for the newlywed couple has been cultivated to one of the most important decisions and decadent displays one will have with their wedding.  Rendering the question what does the couple’s wedding cake look and taste like?
Many couples have looked outside the proverbial butter cream box to choose other desserts to serve at their weddings. These choices  and trends range from candy buffets, donuts,  cookie bars, a display of various miniature cakes and pies to the latest craze of a cupcake tower which has been embraced by the celebrity nuptials of Carrie Underwood to her NHL beau Mike Fisher and Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.
It’s easy  to see why celebrities and Washingtonians have skipped  the traditional white fondant and rose tiers to choose a whimsical cupcake tower. A cupcake tower has many great attributes. For starters price, in the D.C Metropolitan area a slice of cake per serving can average around $5.00 a slice while cupcakes average around $ 3.00 per serving. Secondly, presenting the cupcakes to guests is a breeze since they are already a single serving (read no messy or botched slices) and storage is simple, leftovers can be easily contained or guests can easily package them  to take home to indulge in later.
A cupcake tower also allows for a variety of flavors and decoration. Yes, each tier of cake can have a different flavor and icing but cupcakes allow for a variation of flavors per delightful cupcake. For my August wedding I had red velvet, pumpkin, chocolate, yellow bases  while mix and  matching with cream cheese, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry ,peanut butter and mocha icing contributing to  twenty four different combinations!

This beautiful cupcake tower was created by the amazing Cake Dreams bakery located in Rockville, MD.


Hello out there!
     After taking some writing workshops in college as well as writing articles for Clemson University's school newspaper under the columns "The Dining Divas" and "The Dining Duo" ,  fashion articles for a wedding boutique and now as District Bride Guide's Sunday blogger, I decided to start my own page.
   So this will be a compilation of  wedding and event insights as well as other fabulous happenings.

Grab a martini and enjoy!!