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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Wedding, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 83
1. Planning a Beautiful Wedding Reception on a Budget: It Begins and Ends with Family and Friends

by Sally Matheny

Planning a Beautiful Wedding Reception on a Budget
(Pixabay Photo)
Are you planning a wedding reception? 

The average cost for an American wedding reception is around $15,000—just for the reception. For many couples, that amount can start their marriage off with huge debts. Or it will deplete the savings accounts of numerous parents. I’ve heard of parents maxing out credit cards and running their retirement accounts dry. It’s not necessary to do this. Nor is it wise.  

I’m here to tell you it is possible to plan a beautiful wedding reception, even if you’re working within, what many consider, a frugal budget. Granted, it takes a bit more work, but sometimes that extra effort brings an even sweeter satisfaction. Expect a few challenges, but the overall experience can definitely be enjoyable—if everything is approached with the right attitude.

One thing my daughters and I know for certain is a beautiful wedding reception begins and ends with family and friends.

Are you planning a reception? Perhaps you’ll have a relative or friend offering financial assistance. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? But if not, fear not. If you have a loving family or a handful of caring friends, you’re well on your way to creating a lovely wedding reception. In this post, I’ll share just a few of the ways we saved money. The.re are too many to write about in one post so if you’d like the entire list, say so in the comments and I’ll email it to you
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2. Must-have items for women

Men and women have always loved dressing up fashionably. Many of them are constantly trying to be up-to-date with the newest fashion trends. We live in a world where people use your fashion sense to form an opinion about who you really are. That’s why many people follow fashion trends, they want to leave a good impression on the rest of the society. But, fashion is not only about the clothes that is “in”, every person should also have a personal fashion style, that makes them different from others. These personal fashion styles have nothing to do with fashion, but with what a person likes to wear, whether it is “in” or not. Over the years, fashion trends change and with them the preferences of individuals. But, a few things always stays the same.

First thing is that every woman should have a good pair of high heeled shoes. Whether you have hundreds of them or just one pair, doesn’t matter, but one pair is necessary. You can wear them anywhere if you combine them properly, from professional meetings to going out on Saturday night’s. Even when going for a walk, if they are comfortable and if you are able to walk in them for hours.

High-Heels-2012-high-heels-30423656-500-382If you want to buy a new pair of high heels check Breckelles shoes wholesale as they offer a wide choice of heels, platforms, booties, boots, flats, sandals and sneakers that are affordable and trendy. This brand specializes in trendy women footwear that are some of the hottest looking on the market. You will surely be noticed when wearing them.

Leggings are absolute must-have as you can wear them for all kinds of different events, anything from going for a walk in the park to going on an elegant dinner or on a wedding. They can be combined with almost any piece of clothes so you can wear them anywhere you want. The plus side is also that they are very comfortable.

largeFor leggings and some other pieces of clothes that are fit for every day take a look at what See You Monday has to offer. They manifest contemporary yet antique styles and offer you wide choice of leggings, dresses, tops, skirts and pants that you can wear everywhere.

Last but not least, dress with interesting pattern or print. Many people are used to buying plain, one-colored dresses as they think they are much easier to match with accessories or shoes, but it is a delusion, patterned dresses can be easily matched too. And they look interesting and exciting, as opposed to plain dresses. So let go of boring and plain dresses and try with patterned ones. Illa Illa offers clothes that have unique patterns and different prints, and is designing dresses for young contemporary girls who love trendy and casual look.

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3. Prepare Your Daughter Now for Her Wedding Day

by Sally Matheny

Pretending to be a Princess Bride
Photo by Pixaby
Is there a little princess twirling through your home? Perhaps she has difficulty choosing a wedding gown from the half-dozen glittering dresses in her closet. Days are filled with delightful giggles bubbling out as she waves from the top of the sofa...I mean, her horse-drawn, glass carriage. And you breathe in the moments. 

Then reality hits. Unless you have a fairy godmother, you wonder if you'll be able to make that future fairy tale wedding come true. Whether she's two or twelve,  begin preparing your daughter now for her wedding day.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $30,000 according to valuepenguin.com. Manhattan, New York weddings average a skyrocketing $88,000 and Mississippi marriages glide around $13,000. Weddings in my home state of North Carolina typically fly around $28,000 but not so for my family.

Read more »

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4. A crisis of commitment

A reasonable line of thought can give rise to a crisis of commitment: Many a commitment requires persistence or willpower, especially in the face of temptation. A straightforward example is the decision to quit smoking; another is the promise to be faithful to someone for the rest of one’s life.

The post A crisis of commitment appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Since April 19, 2015...

After Easter and the jury duty kerfuffle...

...to which I didn't have to go!
Happy dance, happy dance, everybody happy dance!

... I got a rejection on a query I sent to an agent about a month before.  Technically, she never responded to the query, which per the guidelines basically meant the same thing.  No reply, no acceptance.
Tears may have been shed.

But that's okay.  I dusted off my poor weeping query, gave it a little spruce up and sent it bravely back into the big wide world of agents.  I may have whispered a prayer to send it on its way.

Then I had a wedding I went to, last week of April/beginning of May, wherein my sister Amanda (keeper of the blog, Hit and Miss) designed floral arrangements for the altar, and we cleaned bucketloads of roses, carnations, baby's breath and greens and I made 15 centerpieces in glass milk jars for the reception.
Or rather:  Design ALL the flowers!

Speaking of which, I don't think I want to go to weddings anymore.  Waaaaaay too many people!
Way too many people I don't know, and way too many random people wanting to talk to me.
Talk? Talk?!   What makes you think I'd want to chat?  I haz nothing to say.  Unless we speak geek.  Then perhaps we speak.

Then we got BACK from the wedding and the weather has been liek dis:

And liek dis:
*snarf, grumble, grouch

It hasn't been NICE.  It has been the opposite.  It has been DARK.  My mood goeth downhill.

Directly after getting back, we were into Mother's Day week.  Which made the flower shop a crazy busy place.  Which meant yours truly got to work a six-day work week, after a weekend filled with flower arrangements and wedding feels and socializing.

Socializing, for me, can be physically more draining and damaging than a solid week's work, so piling MOTHER'S DAY WEEK on top of that was... was...

Sorry, words fail.

However, good news.  Before driving back from the wedding in Bakersfield, we stopped at Target and all four of us who had attended the wedding picked up copies of the Target Edition of Josh Groban's STAGES, which contains 17 tracks and are all of them amazing.
Make sure you get the TARGET edition with 17 tracks! The normal version
only has 13, so make sure it 's the special TARGET edition you're getting!

Josh has this superpower that never fails to make me marvel at how PERFECTLY he sings.
IMHO, he sings the only acceptable version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
*Oh Groban!

Speaking of Superheroes and Marvel, I also watched the first two episodes of Daredevil on Netflix during that wedding weekend, so when I got back from the wedding I proceeded to watch the other 11 episodes.

Matt Murdoch is the best!  I refuse to say anything, because, as Yoda say, "If Netflix you have, Daredevil you should be watching."  Seriously, he's a new favourite Marvel superhero.  He is so amazing and cool!  Unfortunately, now that I'm done with those 13 episode, the next season won't be up until 2016!  Netflix, why? Why? Whyyyyy?

Then I saw Age of Ultron.

All I'm going to say about THIS is, OH MY GOSH! HAWKEYE!! TONYSTEVETHOR! QUICKSIIIIIILVER!  JARVISJARVISJARVIS!! And never, ever, ever have I let a ship sink as fast as I let Black Widow's and Hawkeye's.  I was surprisingly okay with it.  I waved a hand and thought, I don't mind Natasha and Clint being friends.

After this, Teresa and Jack and I started watching Harry Potter.  I have never really watched Harry Potter.
I know, right?

I had read up to the fourth book (which *I* thought was horrifying) and then watched the fourth movie which, IMHO, did NOT live up to the fourth books horrifyingness (which is not a word, but I don't care.  I'm a writer.  I do what I want).  Frankly, the fourth movie rather bored me, so I gave up on the series.

Then, I dunno, after the final book had been published and was no longer talked about, I thought I might as well finish the book series, and while I thought J.K. Rowling did a fine job with writing, I wasn't entirely sold on the series.  I don't know why.  I just wasn't a fan.

So I have had no urge to watch the movies until after Valentine's Day, when after a long grueling day at work I came home, ate something fortifying and turned on the TV, and discovered The Chamber of Secrets was playing.  Having nothing better to do, I watched it.
I mean, after all, why not?

Since then, I've been off again, on again wanting to watch them, and we started our sporadic marathon about two weeks ago.  While the first four were nothing special (for me, anyway - and btw, the fourth movie is NOT as boring as I remembered it being.  Perhaps one needs to have been away from books and movies for a significant amount of time or something), we just finished Deathly Hallows part 1, and I'll admit the 5th, 6th and 7-1/2th movies engaged me more and made me feel a bit more connected to the characters.  (Though, and I'm speaking from my experience of having read the books YEARS ago, I am pretty certain the scriptwriters could have clarified Harry as being The Chosen One.  That shtick sort of makes an appearance in the Half Blood Prince, and while I *think* it was clear in the book, it was NOT AT ALL CLEAR in the movie(s), and I honestly can't remember how or why or who or when Harry became this Chosen One or even what it has to do with the plot.)
I feel ya, Minion

I don't think I'm still (yet) techinically a fan.  I haven't entirely finished the series, after all.  Deathly Hallows part 2 will possibly (probably) happen tonight, but now that I've watched the movies I can see why people have become fans.  I will be honest even more and state that I do have a bad tendency to quote HISHE or Honest Trailer lines during crucial moments of the movies (such as, Wizzzzard lightning battle! or, Look out, Harry, he doesn't have a nose!, or, "Just saving your life.  And countless others.  In the future.  It's a long story.")  But overall, my favorite characters are Snape, Professor McGonagall, George and Fred, and Harry.  I like Ron and Hermione, but those first five are my favorites.

Lastly, to bring my month to a close, the query I'd dusted off and sent back out came back with a request for the agent to see the full manuscript.
I may or may not have woken up my sister at the obscene
hour of 5:00 a.m. to show her the joyous news.

So I sent the full manuscript to the agent, and now I must wait up to 60 days to see what she thinks.  It's a bit torturous, but she was nice enough to admit that it was torturous, which was good to hear.  Empathy, empathy.  So all I can do now is pray... and hope... and pray... and, you know, hope.

So, that's been my month!  I hope yours has been just as exciting and eventful as mine, albeit less gloomy.  *Rain, rain, go away, come again some OTHER day.*

Until next month...

Cat! :)

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6. The Scarecrows' Wedding: Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Book: The Scarecrows' Wedding
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4-8

The Scarecrows' Wedding is the latest picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axle Scheffler, the team that created the beloved book The Gruffalo. The Gruffalo is one of my husband's favorite books to read aloud to our four-year-old daughter. They like the rhythm of the text, combined with the every-so-slight scariness of "the deep dark woods." The Scarecrows' Wedding has a similar rhythmic feel. It is a book that begs to be read aloud. The subject matter is a bit lighter, though there is a risk of death near the end of the book.

In The Scarecrows' Wedding, scarecrows Betty O'Barley and Harry O'Hay decide to get married. Betty draws up a short list of her expectations for the wedding. Their farmyard friends help with some of these, but Harry ends up gong off on a quest to find "lots of pink flowers." While he's gone, a slick new scarecrow attempts to make time with Betty. But, of course, it all works out in the end. 

Here's an example of Donaldson's bouncy text:

"They hadn't gone far when some cows gathered round,
And the bells round their necks made a wonderful sound.
Ring-a-ding ding! Ring-a-ding ding!
"Oh, cows, will you please come and make your bells ring
For our wonderful wedding, the best wedding yet,
The wedding that no one will ever forget?"

That last bit, about the wonderful wedding that no one will ever forget, is repeated at intervals throughout the book, giving young readers a chance to chime in. There's subtle humor for adult readers, too, like the fact that the scarecrow who intervenes is called "Reginald Rake." He looks like a rake, too. 

Scheffler's illustrations are kid-friendly, with wide-eyed people and animals. The affection between the two scarecrows is conveyed via their companionable proximity and pink-cheeked smiles. The scarecrows move about as awkwardly as you would expect scarecrows to move, and there are tons of different types of animals to name and count sprinkled throughout the book. 

I believe that The Scarecrows' Wedding is going to make an immediate entry into my family's go-to bedtime reading list. It is a sure-fire hit, and must-purchase for libraries. This will be a great title to read to kids, alone or in groups, come fall. Highly recommended. 

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (@Scholastic)
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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7. Personalized Book in English

We will publish new world wide Meon Book site recently.

The titles of books are translated to English. You can change titles as you like. Our fantastic illustrations will be accepted well.

Personalized Book Meon Book

We will expand globally, and deliver happy gifts for birthday, anniversary, new baby,  christmas and weddings.

Please vist.

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8. Review and Giveaway: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey


Tessa Bailey is fast becoming one of my go to authors when I need a fun, sexy read.  I’ve enjoyed almost everything she’s written, and Baiting the Maid of Honor is one of my favorites.  Some of her heroes are too alpha-holey for me, but Reed, while certainly domineering, starts showing his softer side with a little help from Julie.  At first I didn’t think I liked them together because they are complete opposites, but halfway through the story I was totally convinced that she was the woman to make him happy and allow him to finally trust someone. 

Julie is at a Colorado resort for her friend’s wedding (Kady and Colton from Dare to Resist).  The maid of honor, she takes her wedding duties very seriously.  She has agonized over the wedding preparations, wanting all of her friends and the guests to have a great time, while creating the perfect storybook wedding for Kady.  Reed Lawson has proven difficult from the start.  He was late with his RSVP, and she wasn’t even sure he would be part of the groom’s party, let alone be attending the festivities.  All it takes is one look at each other and they can’t keep their eyes, or hands, to themselves.

Julie is a Southern belle.  She’s lived a life of privilege and luxury, while Reed has struggled for everything he has.  Both of their lives changed after the death of a family member.  Reed’s mother succumbed to cancer when he was a young boy, leaving him with a neglectful father, and Julie’s older sister died unexpectedly in a tragic accident.  Serena had been the responsible sister, the one being groomed to help her parents run their successful business, while Julie planned on escaping from home and attending college.  With her sister gone, someone had to fill the void and be the little event organizer and cater to her parents’ every need, so Julie quit school and stepped into the role of perfect daughter.  Suffering from guilt, questioning her own self-worth, she’s made it her mission to make those around her happy.

Reed and Julie butt heads right from the beginning. He belittles the wedding festivities and is a difficult guest, to say the least.  With his harsh upbringing, he doesn’t have patience for a frilly ceremony or a frilly woman.  He’s attracted to Julie, but he knows a high maintenance rich chick when he sees one.  Still, he’s eager to have his wicked way with her, and get her out of his system for good.

I loved the chemistry between the protagonists.  Even when they are both trying to convince themselves that they are completely wrong for each other, they can’t stay away.  The sexy times are hot, hot, hot – I thought my Kindle would combust a couple of times.  My favorite part of the story, though, was how Reed and Julie’s relationship shifted from a week long fling, to the realization, especially on Reed’s part, that they couldn’t live without the other.  I could almost feel his desperation as he fought against being tied to anyone, and then again when he started to think he would lose her.  Reed’s character development made the book for me.

If you like Tessa Bailey, you will love Baiting the Maid of Honor.  If you haven’t given her a try yet, this is a great read to load on your reader or phone and read while lounging by the pool.  I liked all of the characters, and now I’m curious to read the entire Wedding Dare series.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for prize pack that includes a $50 gift card, Tiffany necklace and other fun bridal showed themed surprises.

The Wedding Dare Series

1 Wedding…4 Hot Stories

Falling for the Groomsman by Jen McLaughlin writing as Diane Alberts

Find out more!

She’s the one that got away. He’s the one she can’t forget.

Photojournalist Christine Forsythe is ready to tackle her naughty to-do list, and who better to tap for the job than a hot groomsman? But when she crashes into her best friend’s older brother, her plans change. Tyler Dresco took her virginity during the best night of her life, then bolted. The insatiable heat between them has only grown stronger, but Christine wants revenge. Soon, she’s caught in her own trap of seduction. And before the wedding is over, Tyler’s not the only one wanting more…

Find Diane Online

Website   *   Blog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Goodreads   *   Newsletter


Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey

Find out more!

He’ll own her from the very first touch.

Julie Piper and Reed Lawson are polar opposites. She’s a people-pleasing former sorority girl. He’s a take-no-prisoners SWAT commander who isolates himself from the world. Until he sees Julie. When they’re forced together at their friends’ posh destination wedding and she’s dared to seduce another man, Reed takes matters into his own hands. One night should be all he needs to get the blond temptress out of his system, but he’s about to find out one taste is never enough…

Find Tessa Online

Website   *   Blog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Goodreads   *   Newsletter

Seducing the Bridesmaid by Katee Robert

Find out more!

She has a plan. He’s about to change it.

Regan Wakefield is unafraid to go after what she wants, so she’s thrilled when her friend’s wedding offers her an opportunity to score Logan McCade, the practically perfect best man. Unfortunately, groomsman Brock McNeil keeps getting in her way, riling her up in the most delicious of ways.Regan may pretend the erotic electricity sparking between them is simply a distraction, but Brock will do whatever it takes to convince Regan that the best man for her is him.

Find Katee Online

Website   *   Vlog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Goodreads   *   Newsletter

Best Man with Benefits by Samanthe Beck

Find out more!

How far can one favor go…

Logan McCade’s best man duties have just been expanded. Coaxing the groom’s little sister out of her shell should be easy for a high-octane extrovert like himself—or so he thinks until he’s blindsided by the delectably awkward Sophie Brooks. She’s sweet, sexy, and brings much-needed calm to his hectic, workaholic life. Soon, he’s tempting her to explore all her forbidden fantasies…and wondering exactly how far a favor to his best friend can go.

Find Samanthe Online

Website   *   Blog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Goodreads

Don’t miss where it all began…

Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye

Find out more!

Trapped and tempted, this battle of wills rages all night long…

Colton Brooks is in hell. Being trapped in a tiny motel room with Kady Dresco, the object of his darkest fantasies, will require every ounce of his restraint. She’s his best friend’s brilliant little sister, not to mention his competition for a lucrative military security services contract. Craving her submission is not allowed. But as her proximity and the memory of their steamy near-miss three years ago slowly destroys his resolve, Colton’s not sure how much longer he can keep his hands off…or his heart closed.

Find Laura Online

Website   *   Blog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Goodreads   *   Newsletter

Find more Brazen titles here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BrazenBooks

Twitter: @BrazenBooks

Steals and Deals

A prize pack to include a $50 gift card, Tiffany necklace and other fun bridal showed themed surprises.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Review and Giveaway: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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9. Celebrating Victoria Day

Monday, 19 May is Victoria Day in Canada, which celebrates the 195th birthday of Queen Victoria on 24 May 1819. In June 1837, at the age of 18, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as the Empire was called then.

Queen Victoria would reign for more than 63 years, longer than any other British Monarch to date. The Victorian Era, as it came to be known, was a time of expansion of the British Empire, as well as modernization and innovation following the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century.

To celebrate Victoria Day, we’ve chosen a few of her most famous quotations to illustrate her life and legacy.

Royal Queen Victoria

On being shown a chart of the line of succession, 11 March 1830
Theodore Martin The Prince Consort (1875) vol. 1, ch. 2

Queen Victoria no defeat

On the Boer War during ‘Black Week’, December 1899
Lady Gwendolen Cecil Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury (1931) vol. 3, ch. 6

“The Queen is most anxious to enlist every one who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights,’ with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety.”
–Queen Victoria, letter to Theodore Martin, 29 May 1870. From Oxford Essential Quotations.

Queen Victorias wedding

“What you say of the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, dear, but I own I can not enter into that; I think much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments; when our poor nature becomes so very animal and unecstatic.”
–Queen Victoria, letter to the Princess Royal, 15 June 1858. From Oxford Essential Quotations.

The Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (5th ed), edited by Susan Ratcliffe, was published in October 2012. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (7th ed), edited by Elizabeth Knowles, was published in 2009 to celebrate its 70th year.

Oxford Reference is the home of reference publishing at Oxford. With over 16,000 photographs, maps, tables, diagrams and a quick and speedy search, Oxford Reference saves you time while enhancing and complementing your work.

Images: 1. Queen Victoria in her Coronation Robes by George Hayter. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. 2. Portrait of Queen Victoria, 1843 by Sir Francis Grant. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. 3. Wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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The post Celebrating Victoria Day appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Embroidered Wedding Portrait


This is the story of a wedding gift (my contribution to it, anyway) for a dear friend. I thought you might like to see the process. The picture is of my friend Jamie and her husband, who got married last June. As a surprise to the couple, her mother asked friends and family each to complete a design on a muslin square. She collected the squares and then had them made into a patchwork quilt as a gift to Jamie and her husband.


Jamie and I go way back, and a big part of our friendship has been about shared words. Books, movies, music, poetry, television. We have a lot of inside jokes about obscure quotes. So I sifted through our collective “library” of shared references, looking for the perfect quote to decorate the wedding square. Nothing seemed quite right.

When I saw the bride and groom, though, I knew nothing could be more Jamie and Jon than their fabulous wedding outfits.

I decided to make an embroidered picture and started with the best photo I had of the event. It’s blurry but gave me a good pose to work with. I used Picasa to play with the colors and then used the “posterize” effect to get the lines of the image to show up more clearly.


I printed the picture, traced over the lines with a Sharpie, and then transferred these to the fabric with a temporary fabric marking pen.


I like the back almost as well as the front:

Embroidery backside

Here’s the final:

Embroidered Wedding Portrait

If you’re interested in seeing more of Jamie and Jon’s wedding, click here.

Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on my nonfiction project and just got some excellent notes on my novel from an old friend. A little sewing going on, which hopefully I can show you soon. Back to writing now!

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11. One Wedding and a Funeral

I haven’t seen my husband in eleven days. I haven’t been warm in eleven days, because for the past eleven days, I’ve been in my hometown, Perrysburg, Ohio, and the trip was a mixed bag.

Papa and Grandma Schwind.

Papa and Grandma Schwind.

Two weekends ago was funeral weekend. We celebrated the life of my Papa Schwind. My brother and I commemorated the occasion with a giddy rendition of Brandi Carlile’s “Keep Your Heart Young.” As a family, we spent the evening by a bonfire, drinking beer, playing more music, and reminiscing. We “bonded,” maybe as we never have before, because Papa always did have a way of bringing people together.

The rest of my trip was wedding madness. I have never been a bridesmaid, so this was a first for me. Monday, I assisted dear Vicki (the bride) with program folding. Wednesday, we hit Toledo in a fancy limo for Vicki’s bachelorette party. Thursday, Vicki fought through a hang-over to tie up final loose ends. Then, Friday: the salon visit, the rehearsal at the church, and the rehearsal dinner. By the time the wedding day actually arrived, I felt as though weeks had passed.

Saturday, we got dolled up. We put on our beautiful bridesmaid gowns. We pretended it wasn’t overcast and freezing outside and started the day with mimosas. Then, we all got stage fright and had to do some group deep breathing and prayer before walking down the aisle.

Vicki and Del!

Vicki and Del!

And of course everything was perfect. The ceremony was a dream. Vicki looked like a rich, 1920s bootlegger’s wife—classy and covered in glitz. Her new husband, Del, looked like he wanted to kiss her long before the pastor said, “You may kiss the bride.” And we cheered, cheered, cheered, because Vicki and Del took the first step toward a life together.

There was much rejoicing at the super-fancy reception at Carranor Polo Club in Perrysburg. The band kept us moving all night long. I sang a Norah Jones tune for the bride and groom. I danced with old friends. I was Vicki and Del’s chauffeur at the end of the night, and I got to watch him carry her over the threshold of their shared home. I then fell into my childhood bed without removing my makeup or brushing my teeth; I haven’t done that in years.

I’ve found that I get somewhat selfish at other people’s weddings. Other people’s weddings make me think of my wedding and the wonder it was. My wedding to my Jake was a miracle—could not have been more “us.” I get cheerful thinking about our big day; I get melancholy, too, because I wish we could do it again!

Maybe that’s what this lengthy Ohio trip was about: sadness and cheer.

Sad to have lost Papa; happy that he’s in peace.
Sad to have a funeral; happy to have a wedding.
Happy to have a friend like Vicki; happy that she has Del.

I am also happy to be heading home—very happy. I miss my Jake, and Vicki’s wedding made his absence more apparent. Yes, I slow-danced with friends’ parents at the wedding (ha), but this trip to Ohio was hard without my hubbie. Now, I’m on a plane. I’ll be home soon, in the arms of the man I love.

To my Grandma Schwind: Papa is gone for now, but he’s waiting for you in Heaven, where he’ll give you a huge hug and sloppy kiss when you arrive.

To Vicki and Del: Many, many congratulations on your fabulous wedding and many blessings on your marriage. You’ll always be in my prayers.

To Jake: Baby, I’m comin’ home, and I can’t wait to hold you forever.

Jake and me.

Jake and me.

3 Comments on One Wedding and a Funeral, last added: 10/30/2013
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12. tropical wedding paradise!

Getting married is what I've been up to! This is the illustration I created for our "Save the date", using washes and drop shadows for a collage effect.
The scene reflects the moment of my proposal on the same Mozambican beach on which we had our ceremony.
20 points to the first person to say which species our dogs are :)

5 Comments on tropical wedding paradise!, last added: 8/20/2013
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13. Till Shrek Do Us Part

DreamWorks cosplay is hardly as widespread as Pixar cosplay, but when people dress up as DreamWorks characters, it’s a thing of beauty. This Shrek-themed wedding happened on the British island of Jersey. There’s an article and video about it on the BBC website and more photos on Yahoo’s Shine.

(Thanks, Nathan Wilkes for the post title suggestion)

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14. Current Work in Progress

"Spring Maiden"

After looking through my portfolio of fairies, I realized there were no fairy brides, time for a change!
It's refreshing to get back onto hot pressed paper after a some time on cold pressed.

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15. Reaction

Every girl deserves this...


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16. Northeast Vacay 2012 Sketchbook Part 1

We just got back from whirlwind tour of the Northeast including Upstate New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

I have been attempting to keep up my sketchbook.

Here are some of the images:

My Aunt Joan and Uncle Dick's Victorian mansion in Stamford, NY.

The trip up was a little grey and got rainy. It was storming when we arrived in Stamford. We visited too briefly and headed up to Vermont.

Welcome to Vermont...
The main reason to go to Vermont was for my Godmother's daughter Nora's wedding in Woodstock, VT. The bride and groom went by "Team Floogen". It was a lovely ceremony and included a happy hour the night before at a place called Bentley's and Brunch the day after.

The day of the ceremony, there was a really cool food and art festival in downtown Woodstock.

Looked good but we stuck with a lobster roll.

The first bite is taken with the eye...

 That afternoon I got a bit of sketching in even though rain was a worry. They had some gorgeous buildings in that town, especially the public library...

I also sketched the building adjacent to the library.

Cool building in the library quad...

Here are some wedding sketches:

The bride got a wonderful dress at Kleinfeld, lost of detailing. I never got the name of the designer. Sadly, she did not get on the show, but discussing the name "Kleinfeld" gave me an idea of a Seinfeld/Kleinfeld mashup comic for Pop Smoothie... I will post it this weekend.

The bride and groom left the ceremony on a motorcycle and their cake topper feature and bride and groom motorcycle theme as well.

The next day was a farewell brunch.

Pano of Quechee Gorge outside of Woodstock
Next, we headed up to Danby, VT to visit our friends Andrea, Ed and their daughter Olivia.

I will post the sketches from that the next post, but first, the view from their backyard:

Bernie Sanders and this view! (This photo is in evening light...) What more could you ask for? Stay tuned!

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17. Tawny & Irv

They love ice cream & each other.
Custom illustration for their save the dates. Congrats to them!

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18. Mini Review: Tempting the Best Man by J Lynn


Title:  Tempting the Best Man

Author:  J Lynn

Publisher: Entangled Publisher

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother’s best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can’t stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother’s wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they’re forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don’t strangle each other first…


I didn’t realize that J Lynn is a pseudonym for Jennifer L Armentrout.  I would probably have read Tempting the Best Man sooner had I known.  I enjoyed Obsidian, though I thought it lost some stream near the end, but I didn’t find that to be the case here.  Tempting the Best Man clicks along at a rapid pace, taking place over the span of about a  week.  When a reservation snafu lands protagonists Chase and Madison together in the honeymoon cabin, Madison thinks she’s died and gone to hell.  She has been running away from her childhood crush on Chase, but no matter what she does, she just can’t get over her feelings for him.  Chase, on the other hand, treats her like a little sister, which drives Madison insane. 

While I found the setup improbable (Madison’s parents don’t blink an eye when the hotel’s management solves the room shortage issue by putting Madison and Chase in the same room),  I enjoyed the banter and conflict that kindled between the protagonists.  While Madison has always worn her heart on her sleeve, Chase has had to work hard at hiding his feelings for his best friend’s younger sister.   Chase is afraid of making any waves with Madison’s family; his parents’ relationship was so dysfunctional and his home life was so  awful that he found a much needed refuge at the Daniels’ house.  He is afraid of jeopardizing that, and so he rejects Madison at all turns, even when he knows that his actions will devastate her.  And they do.  Big time.

Tempting the Best Man is a quick, breezy read that’s perfect for an afternoon by the pool.   This is a very fast-paced story with one of my favorite romance tropes, and I zipped right through it. I enjoyed the conflict between the leads, and wondered why they were the only two who didn’t recognize the chemistry that zinged between them.

Grade: B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

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19. Two Doves One Heart

27 Two Doves One Heart

A little doodle of a sweet pair of doves, one pale blue and the other light pink, cuddled in an embrace shaped like a heart. It started out as a pencil sketch in my moleskine that I scanned and then digitally painted in Corel Painter, then played around with in Photoshop to create a pair of separate blue and pink hearts as well:

27 Two Doves One Heart blue

27 Two Doves One Heart pink
I've used them to design cards and matching gifts for ...

Weddings: Two Doves One Heart Wedding at Floating Lemons Events;

Baby Showers for twins: Twin Doves Heart at Floating Lemons Events;

and Valentine's Day: (coming soon!)


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20. A Bachelorette/College Reunion Week to Remember

I flew back to Phoenix Monday evening after eleven days in Ohio filled with wedding shenanigans, happy tears, and beer. I missed my Jake terribly (Ripley, too), and I’m indubitably happy to be home. Now looking back on my trip, I feel it was all very, very necessary. Yes, even the penis veil.

Susie's spectacular backyard.

Saturday the 20th of August was my bridal shower and bachelorette party. Was I nervous? Holy hell, yes. I don’t like to be the center of attention, especially when being the center involves opening kitchen utensils in front of twenty of my mom’s best friends. Aunt Susie, my Maid of Honor, made it a lot easier. Her yard looked like a magical fairyland. It usually does in August, living in the beautiful summer climate of Perrysburg, Ohio. She even picked fresh mint from her garden and made me a mojito as the guests arrived. It turned out not to be as scary as I expected. I’m a small talk diva, and my mom’s sangria helped.

I ran home and changed and then, at 6:30, was escorted to my bachelorette party. I need to say it again: my bachelorette party. It was so surreal! I’ve been to several bachelorette parties in my day, but it was always for someone else. It was never me getting married. Now, it’s ME! I’m getting married! I won’t get into all of it. I will say we drank quite a bit of tequila. My girlfriends—from elementary school through to post-college—got along as though they’d known each other for twenty years, and I wore several penis-adorned decorative items.

Randy, my stripper.

The best moment? We were at a bar when my gal pal January grabbed me and shoved me into a chair. Journey’s “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” started playing, and the door to the bar opened. I looked left and there was a man in naval garb. No, it wasn’t Jake. It was Jan’s husband, Randy—a dear friend of mine and Jake’s—and you guessed it, he performed a rousing strip routine down to his leopard-print boxers. It was … amazing. I was hung-over the next day, so my dad and I watched Lonesome Dove—all six hours of it. He had his usual beer and Cheez-its at 4:30 PM. I did not (blech).

Skip ahead to Thursday. If you do, yes, you’re skipping over great days and nights spent one-on-one with some of my favorite people. This trip was really about one-on-one time. The moments spent catching up with friends and family members are some of the most memorable moments of the past two weeks, which is why Thursday was so important. Not only did I get to spend countless hours with my little brother, but I spent those hours in Athens, Ohio, home of me and Matt’s alma mater, Ohio University, recently named the #1 party school in the country.

That Thursday night I was up until 5 AM. The night was spent eating at my favorite Athens restaurant, Casa Nueva, and drinking freshly handmade margaritas. It was spent at my favorite bars, cackling with my brother and some of his best friends (who were wonderful). After hours, Matt sang me the song he wrote for me and Jake’s wedding ceremony, and I sobbed. He said I once told him that great relationships are “easy.” There’s no drama, no muss, no fuss, only peace, love, and laughter.  The song he wrote for us is about that, and I hope he’ll soon find a woman who makes his life feel easy,

3 Comments on A Bachelorette/College Reunion Week to Remember, last added: 9/2/2011
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21. Wedding Thank You Cards

I'm delighted to be able to share the finished designs of my cousin's thank-you cards. The groom is a pilot, who before the wedding had a rather fabulous beard (I was shocked to see he had shaved it for the wedding). This is the second stamp design I've done for a wedding (something very economical for the bride and groom, as they can choose the paper stock and ink colour themselves and have the option to use the stamp for other purposes later on, such as a scrapbook). The first was an invitation for my brother & sister-in-law last year. I love the look that the stamps provide and how different the applications can be.

Some of the other sketch designs:

2 Comments on Wedding Thank You Cards, last added: 9/7/2011
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22. Belize Will Be Here Soon

Palapa Bar and Grill, San Pedro.

It was fairly easy choosing a honeymoon destination, considering all we required were turquoise beaches, white sand, and margaritas. Friends of ours had already spent their honeymoon in a mysterious place called Belize, Central America. Yes, I had to look at a map to understand where it was, but once I saw pictures, it was love.

We’re leaving in a few weeks (can’t wait!!), so this week, I did some homework. We’re staying in an ocean-side cabana on Ambergris Caye, which is a little island off the mainland. San Pedro is the big city on Ambergris Caye, and Belize City is only a quick boat ride away. So beyond lying on sunny beaches and drinking the aforementioned margaritas, what do people do in Belize? Well, let me tell you.

Mayan Ruins
The peak of Mayan civilization was from about 600 to 900 AD, and Belize was an important part of their culture. The country’s fertile climate and access to marine life led to the growth of a large population of Mayans, and when they disappeared (aliens?), they left breathtaking ruins. There are several to visit, but Caracol is the biggest and Xunantunich is most heavily visited. Maybe we’ll see both!

Shark Ray Alley.

I still have a slight phobia of the ocean. Not much, mind you, since living in Charleston, South Carolina, but I still get freaked when I can’t touch the bottom or see what creatures might be circling my toes. The good thing about Belize? The water is crystal clear, so at least I’ll be aware of creatures that might want to eat me. Because of the clarity of its turquoise water, Belize is the perfect place to snorkel, and I plan to do it at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the location of Shark Ray Alley—where we’ll swim with Nurse Sharks and Southern Sting Rays. Crazy? Yes, but how often do you get to do something like that?

Eat/Drink (My Favorite)
When researching restaurants and bars in Belize, I didn’t look for the ones with the best food. I looked for the ones with the best views of the ocean. One of them is literally in the ocean; now, that’s what I’m talking about! The two places we HAVE TO GO and possibly spend LOTS OF TIME: The Rojo Lounge in San Pedro and Palapa Bar and Grill—the one literally on stilts above the sea. I discovered both of these locales online yesterday, and I giggled with glee. If Palapa is as cool as it looks, we might just never leave …

Ocean Essence Day Spa.

Of course we’ll get sea-side massages. Of course! The p

3 Comments on Belize Will Be Here Soon, last added: 4/13/2012
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23. Pride and Prejudice - Sketch for today

Illustration Friday and today's warm up sketch.



9 Comments on Pride and Prejudice - Sketch for today, last added: 5/8/2012
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24. Eleven Years Ago

Today, Aimee and I would have been married for eleven years.

Eleven years ago today, in my room at the Holiday Inn, I dressed in a tuxedo. I drove with a carload of groomsmen to the bed and breakfast to pick up a key, and then on to the church. I stood in the sacristy and munched on Scooby Snacks. A lump clogged my throat as I watched Aimee walk the long center aisle of St. Pius the V Catholic Church. Words swam in my mouth as I recited our vows.

It was, simply, one of my best days on Earth.

Here are three of my favorite pictures from that day eleven years ago, each scanned and coated with a tiny bit of dust. Nothing passes time without a little wear.

Two of my best friends, Aaron Ouelette and Jason Wollenberg, while I'm "faith-healing" on the dance floor at the reception.God, I look so boyish.

We thought it would be a brilliant idea to have champagne poppers instead of seeds or bubbles. Damn those little gunpowder-propelled wads of paper propelled hurt like hell.

My favorite picture from that day--maybe from any day. Give me a million bucks, and I still won't tell you what I whispered in her ear.

Miss you, Aimee. Thanks for ten + years of adventure.

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25. Favor boxes


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