How to Preserve your Wedding Dress

>> May 28, 2010

Wedding gown preservation takes a bit of planning. After the wedding is over, the task will be to clean and preserve your wedding dress. Although the cost of preserving wedding dresses may vary, once you understand the intricate process of repairing, cleaning and storing, you will be able to make the right decision for your wedding gown preservation. Getting the wedding dress cleaned is the most important of all whether you intend to keep the wedding dress or sell it on Ebay.

Why wedding gown cleaning? - We all perspire. Wedding dresses, from the first fitting through the wedding reception, are subjected to deodorant, perfumes and sweat. And on the day of the wedding there is extra dirt from the train dragging along the floor during the ceremony, sitting at the table during the reception and using the ladies room. Wedding dress cleaning is crucial to the preservation of the gown. This should be done immediately to keep stains from setting into the satin or silk.


Step 1
Before cleaning - Before the gown is actually cleaned it must be carefully looked at by a seamstress. Missing beads must be replaced and any damage to the hemline has to be repaired before the gown is cleaned. A good cleaner will not clean the dress until the repairs are made.

Step 2
Choosing a wedding dress cleaner - There are various options to have the wedding gown cleaned. If you choose a local dry cleaner, ask them who actually cleans the gown. YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR GOWN CLEANED WITH OTHER CLOTHING. Most dry cleaners send the dresses out to a local company that specializes in wedding gown cleaning. This is the best option, as the local dry cleaners don't have the necessary equipment and space for the proper care of the gowns.

Step 3
Bag or box? - Where are you going to store the wedding gown after the wedding? The best situation for the gown is in a box because the gown will be relaxed lying in a box. After the gown is repaired and cleaned, it will be gently wrapped in acid free tissue paper and folded neatly to fit in a special acid-free box. This way there is no stress on the dress from the weight of the dress hanging on a hanger. Some gowns can weigh as much as 18# and even though the hanger is padded, over the years the stress of the weight on the fabric will take it's toll.

If hanging the gown for storage is the option that you choose, look for a cotton acid free breathable garment bag. Although wedding dresses are sold with plastic garment bags, a breathable garment bag is the best choice for long term storage. The natural humidity in the air changes with the seasons and the gown has to be able it breathe.

Step 4
Do-it-yourself kits - Breathable acid free garment bags, acid-free boxes and acid-free tissue paper can be purchased online. You can have the gown cleaned yourself and then bag it or box it to suit the place of permanent storage. Keep the gown from excessive heat in an attic and basement storage may encounter some dampness. Give some thought to where you are going to keep the dress. If you choose to store the gown permanently in a plastic garment bag, at least once a years take the gown out of the bag and let it air for 24 hours. Laying it across a bed will also allow the fabric to rest before returning the gown to the garment bag.

Step 5
The cost of Wedding Gown Preservation - The cost of preserving some gowns may be as high as $300.00. A designer gown that is covered with intricate bead work, embroidery and lace details will require special care in the cleaning process. I have seen Web sites that offer a special price of $119.00. Please, do not equate the higher prices to being a rip-off. If you have an expensive designer wedding dress, going cheap may not be the best option. Shop around. Ask questions about the cleaning process. Good knowledge will help you make the best choice for preserving your heirloom gown that may someday be worn by your daughter or granddaughter.

Origional Post


Fun Summer Cake

>> May 25, 2010

I saw this cake on Whisk Kid and I thought it was so cool and would be great for summer parties or kids birthdays.

To get the recipe visit whisk kids blog


Great Summer Bouquets

>> May 20, 2010

Sunflowers, Gerber Daisies, Delphinium, and Matsimoto Asters

Hydrangeas, Stargazer Lily, and Spray Roses

Calla Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, and Blue Iris

Gerber Daisies, Asiatic Lilies, Asparagus Fern


Calla Lilies, Dendrobium Orchids, Freesia

For more information or a quote contact


Daisy Wedding... Love it!

>> May 17, 2010


Want FREE Month of Coordination for your Wedding?

Book your wedding or reception through me at The Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle and get a month FREE of planning before your wedding with me!

Stephan and Brittany - Married August 29, 2009 - Reception at The Mayflower Park Hotel

For more information contact us


Summer Place Settings

Choose a bold fabric color for your napkins and top each plate with a fresh cut flower such as hydrangea. This look is great for indoors or outdoors.


Memorial Day Berries and Stars

24 Servings Prep: 45 min. Bake: 10 min. + cooling

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
24 small fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
4 large kiwifruit, peeled and sliced or 1 cup fresh blueberries

In a small bowl, combine cookie dough and flour until combined. Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. star-shaped cookie cutter.
Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Set aside 1-2 tablespoons. Spread remaining frosting over cookies. Place five strawberry slices on each cookie. Using reserved frosting, attach one kiwi slice or 4-5 blueberries to each. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 150 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 17 mg cholesterol, 119 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

{Origional Post}


Fun Spring Desert

>> May 14, 2010

Super easy for birthdays, graduations, and bbq's.

Just dip each cone in melted white or milk chocolate and roll in tiny marshmallows, coconut flakes, chopped nuts, crushed cookies, or candy chips. Set out a selection of ice cream flavors chilled in a tub of ice, and dessert is done


Entertaining on a Budget

>> May 11, 2010

Contrary to the Hollywood image, you don’t need Champagne and caviar to entertain with flair.

Which is not to say luxurious foods in a stylish setting aren’t impressive. For most of us, they just aren’t practical, necessary or affordable.

Entertaining — and doing it with panache — on a shoestring boils down to using food savvy in the market and in the kitchen, as well as some creative sleight of hand with the presentation.

Here are some tips from top food and entertaining editors for throwing a fabulous yet frugal party:

At the store
A smart party plan starts at the market. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you plan to serve and what you need. This helps avoid making unnecessary or impulse buys.
But you’ll also want to keep an open mind while shopping, looking for inexpensive ingredients you might not have considered, but that can have a big impact.

“When considering your menu,” says Debra Puchalla, editor-in-chief of Everyday Food magazine, “seek out less-expensive ingredients at the store, such as seasonal foods or those on sale.”

Splurge on key ingredients.
The editors of Cooking Light magazine point out that high-quality ingredients, used sparingly, can make a big impact. A small amount of truffle oil, prosciutto, artisanal bacon or Parmesan cheese goes a long way, taking dishes such as pasta, risotto, pizza or soup from simple to sublime.

Garnish with gusto.
Barbara Fairchild, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit magazine, recommends buying modestly priced garnishes that make a big splash, such as kumquats, salted capers, one big sprig of an herb, or bundles of mixed herbs. A big single strawberry on a stem always dresses up a dessert plate nicely, even if all you serve is purchased ice cream.

Buy in bulk.
It’s easy to put together an impressive offering of olives by visiting your gourmet grocer’s olive bar. Select a variety of flavors and colors. Exotic nuts, such as macadamias and Marcona almonds, also often can be purchased in bulk.

In the kitchen
You don’t need filet mignon or lobster salad to impress. With the right touches, any food can be stylish and festive.

“An exciting menu doesn’t mean that each recipe has to be difficult, expensive or time-consuming,” says Tanya Steel, editor-in-chief of “Your menu can consist of five simple hors d’oeuvres. As long as each recipe has a different flavor, temperature or texture, your guests won’t be bored.”

Go homemade.
Guests appreciate the care that goes into anything made from scratch, says the editors at Cooking Light. Not only will your bread, pasta, pizza crust, pesto, salsa or chocolate sauce taste better, it will be cheaper than store-bought versions and make your guests feel special.

Use cheaper cuts of meat. They may need to cook for a little longer, says Food & Wine magazine executive food editor Tina Ujlaki, but they’ll reward you with more flavor. In the summer, consider pulled barbecued pork shoulder. When it’s cooler, try a beef bourguignonne made with inexpensive beef chuck.

Everybody loves pasta. It’s inexpensive and often times you can make better pasta dishes at home than you would get in a restaurant, says Ujlaki. Splurge on key flavoring ingredients in the sauce, such as good cheese, pancetta and olive oil.

Think casserole. Kemp Minifie, executive food editor of Gourmet magazine, says a basic pasta casserole can be elevated to a wonderful main dish by topping it with an ample layer of quality bread crumbs.

Do brunch. A well-done brunch can be just as enjoyable and posh as a dinner party, but much cheaper. The editors at Cooking Light suggest a menu that can be as simple as a hearty egg dish (such as a strata that features an artisanal cheese), a seasonal fruit salad, and some home baked muffins. Complete the meal with a coffee bar and pitchers of mimosas or bloody Mary’s.


Beverage costs can get out of hand quickly, but with planning and careful shopping it’s easy to stick to a tight budget.

Don’t feel obligated to offer a full bar. It’s difficult and expensive to stock a wide enough selection of liquors to please everyone, and there are plenty of creative ways to serve drinks that will appeal to most of your guests.

Keep it simple. Cooking Light’s editors suggest choosing one signature cocktail to serve at your gathering so you don’t have to purchase several different wines and liquors.

Stretch the liquor by pairing it with seasonal fruits. Think peach margaritas and watermelon daiquiris for summertime, or apple cider martinis in the fall. Since you’ll be mixing the liquor, you don’t have to use top-shelf varieties.

Keep up with current wine trends and try to buy wines before popularity and exposure drive up the price. And be adventurous and opt for lesser-known wines such as Chile’s merlot-like carmenere.

Buy enough for now and later. Many stores offer discounts on cases of 12 (and you can mix and match).

Skip the alcohol. This is the best way to keep costs to a minimum. Put out pitchers of fruit juice and sparkling water and let people mix and match. There also are plenty of boutique sodas on the market. They might cost a bit more than ordinary soda, but they will be a change of pace for your guests and still be cheaper than beer, wine and mixed drinks.

Table settings and other visual touches, such as how the food is presented, can add easy panache to a party.

You can create almost any mood by decorating your table or buffet with items you already have in your home. And spend the extra time to creatively and artfully arrange your food — this costs nothing but can make all the difference.

People eat with their eyes. Gourmet’s Minifie recommends using slightly smaller dishes so that the plate of food will look more bountiful. And plate the food in the kitchen so you can arrange it attractively and control portion size.

Get vertical. Borrow the restaurant style of stacking food rather than spreading out various servings on a plate. This makes the meal look more ample. For example, portions of meat could be stacked on roasted potatoes.

Downsize old favorites. Cocktail party nibbles or even a limited tasting menu can be a fun and economical alternative to a full meal. People love little foods, such a mini gourmet burgers (sliders), one-bite tacos and tostadas.’s Steel suggests ladling your favorite soup into shot glasses or baking a luxurious macaroni and cheese in mini ramekins.

For dessert, the editors of Everyday Food suggest serving a small dish of store-bought sorbet garnished with a few fresh berries or a sprig of fresh basil or mint.

Decorate with food. Cooking Light’s editors suggest picking up extra produce to be used as decorations. A wooden bowl of funky heirloom tomatoes (get a variety of shapes and colors) makes a stunning — and edible — centerpiece.

Create an arrangement with herbs instead of flowers. Often when you buy a bunch of herbs, you use only a small amount in a recipe. Arrange the rest in a vase or pretty glass to create a fragrant table dressing.

{article origional post}


Naughty Monkey Brides....

>> May 5, 2010

I have talked before about my addiction to shoes. Although I don't buy all the ones I want, I can truly appreciate them and see them as absolute works of art. This morning I received an email from Naughty Monkey about a new contest on their facebook and a bridal promotion starting May 10th. If you have never worn Naughty Monkey, you need to buy a pair so your feet will thank you at the end of the day! {in love}


Cupcake Liners

>> May 4, 2010

I love making cupcakes but am not the best at decorating them... so I have started to really look at the liners and use cool liners to distract from my not-so-great frosting job. Here are a few I found...


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