Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Impress your future in laws with these easy holiday recipes.

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes]

·         6 lbs yukon gold potatoes
·         8 ounces cream cheese
·         1 sour cream packet
·         1/2 cup milk

Boil Mashed Potatoes
In a separate bowl mix cream cheese and sour cream packet
Mix potatoes and cream cheese potatoes together
Bake covered with foil at 350 for 45 min's.

Baked Brie

  •          1/2 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  •          1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie cheese
  •          1/4 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
Slice the wheel of Brie in half, horizontally, so that the halves are two, flatter wheels of Brie. Lay the puff pastry in the pie pan. Place half of the Brie (rind-side down) onto the pastry dough. Sprinkle almonds evenly over the top. Place the other half of the Brie (rind-side up) over the almonds. Bundle the pastry dough around the Brie.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Brownies

  • 1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ½  cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1  egg
  • 3  tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1  box Betty Crocker® Premium Brownies Ultimate Fudge
  • ¼  cup vegetable oil
  • 2  tablespoons water
  • 1 egg


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. In small bowl, beat all filling ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.
Make brownie batter as directed on box, using 1/4 cup oil, 2 tablespoons water and the egg. Spread 3/4 of the batter in pan. Spoon filling by tablespoonfuls evenly over batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling. Cut through batter several times with knife for marbled design.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 inch from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Kona - CDP's mascot- is almost full grown!!

Kona is now about 1 year old. She's the official mascot for Cottontail Digital Press. She is a rescue puppy. Her are a few pictures of her from this year.  Because we all love puppy pics! Wedding planning is stressful, enjoy adorable animal pictures. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who's name to put first on the wedding invitation? The bride or groom?

Who's name goes first?

You've been working on the wedding invitations and your soon-to-be husband sees the bride's name first. He exclaims- "Wait! I want my name first".

Well, I'll start by saying it's 2013 and you can put the names in any order that suits the two of you. Every couple is different, and you should do what is comfortable for both of you.

Traditionally the bride's name goes first. A long time ago, in a pre-millennial age, the bride's family was the host and would word it "Mr. and Mrs. O'Connoly invite you to celebrate the marriage of their daughter Anne O'Connolly to ..... Michael Shannon.... son of...." so this started the tradition of the Bride's name first.

So if you find yourself to be more traditional and want to be classic, put the bride's name first. If your wedding invitations are more modern, you're a modern couple and it's really important to the groom that his name is first, go for it. The only wedding invitation etiquette police that will be at your wedding might be your grandparents.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Free Love Quotes

I've made some of my favorite Love Quotes into images for everyone to share online.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A guide to buying your wedding items on Etsy!

Etsy has so many amazing hand-made wonders that can make your wedding a unique event. However, take a turn on some wedding planning blogs and you'll quickly see comments from a few bride and grooms who've had bad experiences. Here are a few tips to help you navigate Etsy.

1) Remember Etsy does not select who can sell on their site and who can't. Anyone can sign up and with 20 cents per listing open up a store. So when you find a store you love, check them out. Google the store name and the owner's name and look up their online presence. Are there lots of blogs mentioning this store and problems? You might want to use caution.

2) Look where the store is located. There are Etsy sellers from all over the world! It's a wonderful global community. Be aware of sellers from China. Many factories in China will open up an Etsy store and sell their "handmade" goods there. Also note, completely wonderful sellers may reside in countries outside of yours, so add on extra for international shipping times and costs.

3) Read the reviews both on Etsy and Google to find reviews elsewhere. Know who you're buying from.

4) Ask about the turn around time BEFORE ordering. Many of the hand made wedding items are custom made when ordered. If you are ordering from a more popular store it may be 6-8 weeks before your product arrives. A good seller will make their timelines very clear.

5) Ask lost of questions. Convo the seller and ask questions about the product. They should respond within 1 business day. Beware any seller that takes 3-4 business days to respond.

6) Read the listing description thoroughly and read their shop policies as well.

I also belong to a hand-picked group of Etsy sellers that specialize in wedding items. 

Etsy is a fantastic place and most of the sellers are honest artists that are happy to do business with you. You can find items on there that are unique and one of a kind.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wedding Invitation Wording Templates with Divorced Parents

Planning a wedding can be stressful, and it can be more stressful when your parents are divorced. I've worked with numerous clients who have stressed over who's names to put first on the invitation. While every family dynamic is different here is a guide to help:

Traditionally who ever is paying is listed first. So if you mom and step-dad are paying for most of the wedding, their names should go first. To make the most room on the invitation combine names into families, like Mr. and Mrs. _______ instead of writing out both of their full names.

The family for my examples:

Bride's Mom- Sally Holt
Bride's Step-Dad:  Jonathan Holt
Brides Dad- Jim Maple
Bride's Step-Mom- Martha Maple

Groom's Mom- Whitney Wallis
Groom'sStep-Dad:  Patrick Wallis
Groom's Dad- Kenneth Rothenburg
Groom's Step-Mom- Jenna Rothenburg

Wording Example: Bride's Mom and Step Dad hosting, along with Groom's Dad and Step-Mom
Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Holt & Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rothenburg
Invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children

Wording Example: Brides Mom and Step Dad hosting, along with both sets of Groom's parents
Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Holt & Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rothenburg along with Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Wallis.
Invite you to the marriage of their children.....

Wording Example: Brides Dad and Step-Mom hosting, along with Grooms Mom and Step-Dad as well as his Dad
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Maple & Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Wallis along with Kenneth Rothenburg

If you parents are insistent on listing their first names try this...

Wording Example: Brides Dad and Step-Mom hosting, along with Grooms Mom and Step-Dad as well as his Dad
Jim and Martha Maple & Whitney and Patrick Wallis along with Kenneth Rothenburg
Invite you to celebrate the marriage of their children. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Molly and James - Vegas Wedding

Another wedding complete! This one is for James and Molly's Family-Fantastic Las Vegas Wedding
Check out that Fabulous Vegas wedding cake!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Mail and your Wedding...

If you're planning a wedding, odds are you've become more familiar with your local mail carrier than you were when you were single. Lots of mail happens when planning a wedding, favor packages start arriving, contracts and  in the mail, RSVP cards stuffed in your mailbox, and expensive gift packages left on your porch.

One of the first steps you should take when planning a wedding is knowing a safe address where you packages and mail can be sent. If packages left on your doorstep are vulnerable to being stolen consider an alternative place for your wedding items to be shipped to:

  • Your Office (Be careful that your building mail room is responsible and will process packages and mail on time)
  • A Relatives House- If a relative is always home, or has a safe place for their mail to be left consider asking if your RSVP cards, wedding gifts and invitation return address can be their address.
  • Get a P.O. Box- While going to the Post Office can be a major pain, it's a safe place for your mail to be delivered.

Friday, August 9, 2013

You've called off your wedding, now what?

Sometimes it happens, during the wedding planning you realizes it's just not going to work out. It can be a very difficult decision to halt everything. But in the end, it's better to know it's time to end, than to go forward with the wedding knowing you'll end if afterwards. Just remember it's OK to end the relationship if it's not working. You may receive a backlash from some family members, but remember, it's your life and if it's not feeling right, you have the power to call off the wedding.

No one wants to tell their wedding guests it's off, but you have to. Here is a guide for how to call off the wedding with as much grace as possible.

If you've sent out Invitations or Save the Dates.
You'll want to send out an email or small cards to all your invited guests-

Dear _______,
We write to regrettably inform you that the wedding of Sally May Smith and Johnathan Richardson will no longer be taken place. 

If the wedding is only a few weeks away and there is no time to mail a card to your guests.
You'll  still want to send an email out to all your guests, however you'll need to call everyone to make sure they know. Break up the phone list and ask for help from your family and/or friends. The call does not have to be long, just a simple "I'm calling to let you know, regrettably the wedding of  Sally and Jonathan has been called off. We sent out an email but we wanted to make sure you were aware"

If it's the day of the wedding
Take a deep breath. If you have your wedding dress on, take it off, put on comfortable clothes. You're going to need your family/friends today. Ask them to go to the ceremony site and let guests know the wedding will not be taking place today and that it has been cancelled. If all your family is in town, have a designated restaurant or cafe for them to meet at instead of the ceremony/reception location. They will still want to visit with each other.

A few days after the wedding you'll want to send out an email and or cards stating:

Dear _______,
We write to regrettably inform you that the wedding of Sally May Smith and Johnathan Richardson was called off last Saturday. We apologizes for the last minute change and all gifts that were sent early will be returned. We thank you for your support.

If you've called it off soon after the wedding takes place.
This one can be hard. You've come down from the wedding mania only to discover a mistake has been made. You two are not compatible and it's not going to work out.  You don't need to send out an email to every single guest, but it you've been married for under 3 months you should return your wedding gifts.
With a note attached to the gift:

Dear _______,
We thank you so much for attending the weeding of of Sally and Jonathan. Regrettably it has not worked out and we are returning the lovely gift you sent us. We thank you for your love and support.

Remember, calling off a wedding can be one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever have to make. It takes a strong person to realized it's not working and it's not going to get better. Reach out to your family and friends for support during this time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pocket Knives for Groomsmen

Pocket knives are a big hit for groomsmen gifts. While attending a wedding last month my husband - the Best Man- received one. With delight the groomsmen started playing with their newly acquired weapons. I was told it only took 3 minutes for my husband to cut himself.  Lesson learned grooms- give the knives AFTER the wedding.

My husband can be seen in the back holding his friend hostage.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do I HAVE to invite her to my wedding?

Every family has their own landmines and complex political structures. Every couple has a different relationship with their family and chooses to go along with the politics or not. But sometimes all this causes stress when you feel pressured to invite someone to your wedding that you REALLY don't want to be there.

For my wedding a certain relative always talked down to me, was verbally abusive and just plain mean. I knew if I saw her on my wedding day she'd just say something snarky like "You could have lost more weight to fit into that dress". But NOT inviting her would make it into this big dramatic thing, so full of wrath that it would become bigger than my wedding. I wish I had the strength no not care, but I did.

Almost every friend who has gotten married has confided in me there was someone at their wedding they felt pressured to invite but loathed to see. The advice I always give it- It's you wedding and in the end you can invite or not invite whom ever you want. But remember, NOT inviting someone can make your wedding all about the exclusion of that relative. For years to come it will be the wedding where "So-and-So" was no invited. If you are fine with that, but all means don't invite them.

However, if you don't want to deal with the drama overshadowing your big day here are a few tips and tricks:
1) Seat them in the back where you will have minimal contact with them.
2) Assign another family member or friend to keep them occupied and away from you
3) Give the unwanted guest a task to keep the busy
4) If you are worried about the guest drinking too much try and limit their intake- limit 2 glasses per guest, or have a dry wedding. Or point them in the direction on the nearest hotel bar and make sure they have a sober designated driver to get home.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What to do when RSVPs are NOT returned on time

You've diligently send out your invitations on time and clearly marked the RSVP due date. As that date nears RSVPs are still not returned. What to do? Don't panic, wait until the weekend after the RSVP Due date has passed to take action. Sometimes people put RSVP's off to the side with good intentions of sending them back, but as the weeks go on it gets buried under bills and memos.

Start by looking at your guests list and see who's RSVP card is still missing.
Break up the list into two parts- bride's guests and groom's guests. Make an email/call list and contact the guests directly.

You can send them email below:

Dear _______,

I hope all is well. {Fiances name} and I are looking forward to our wedding in a few weeks and we are hoping that you and  {Guest/Family name} can make it. We did not receive an RSVP card from you so I wanted to touch base and see if you are able to attend and what your meal choices are. {Or insert any other requested information}. We can't wait to celebrate with everyone.

If you have an illusive guest try another email, or contacting someone who is close with them.

Dear _______,

I hope all is well. I wanted to check to see if you received my email on  {Insert date}. {Finance name} and I are very excited for our wedding day and we need to have a final count to our caterer by {Insert date}. Please let us know if you can make it, as we would love to see you.

If the guest still is unable to respond, consider your options- are they likely to attend? Do they not check their email or phone? If they live close by can someone stop by their home after work hours one evening? Stop by with some baked goods. Maybe they are unsure if they can attend and are not getting back to you because they don't have an answer themselves.

Remember, people who RSVP'd might not make it at the last minute, and a few who thought they could not make it will turn up at the last minute. Hopefully it evens out, but have a contingency plan in case 1 or 2 extra people show up.