Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Whimsical Woodland Tahoe Wedding

My best friend Paige was married in August in a beautiful ceremony held on a private estate near South Lake Tahoe. The estate boasts a small, clear pond and a grassy field in front of a beautiful large, log cabin home. Such an amazing, secluded location!

Paige's wedding was so, so gorgeous and so very uniquely a reflection of her and her husband Mat. Even more impressive is the fact that they did EVERYTHING themselves. By everything I mean that they literally did it all without the help of a wedding coordinator, day-of wedding coordinator or even help from a property issued event manager.

With the help of family and friends they set up their entire wedding; the reception tent, ceremony site, bar, candy bar, cupcake/cake station.. etc! Only the reception tables and food were left to be set up by the catering company. The day of her wedding, two hours before guests were scheduled to arrive, Paige was still out there answering questions, directing things and setting up. It was hectic but she was still calm, collected and focused! What a ROCK STAR!

There were so many great details to this wedding. To me the most memorable will always be their actual ceremony which was different, lighthearted, fun and touching. So different from most of the formal, regular wedding vows I've heard before. Mat's childhood friend officiated the ceremony, becoming an ordained minister just so he could marry them! When I first heard this I really wasn't sure how it'd turn out and thought them both brave to trust him with such an important moment. But he absolutely did not fail. Like I said before, it ended up being so unique, touching and memorable... great job Casey!

Another favorite detail are the amazing photos of the couple in a canoe out on the pond with a Just Married sign on it taken by Marie A. Rummel Photography, a local Lake Tahoe and Sacramento based photographer. Amazing!

The next day they hosted an informal continental breakfast at the property and invited everyone to stop by, hang out and enjoy the property. A lot of people swam in the pond, took a spin around it on paddle boards, played badminton or just hung out recapping the previous night's memories.

More amazing photos from the wedding courtesy of Marie A. Rummel Photography:

 The unbelievably gorgeous bride and groom! 

Paige and me (7 months pregnant- notice my strategic flower placement!)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby steps...

No... I have not had my baby yet and this post has nothing to do with babies...

It's about our newly, freshly painted dining and living rooms! We've been in our house for two months now and we're taking little baby steps toward making it our own.

A few weeks ago we hired painters to come in to rip the wallpaper off the dining room walls, paint the windows, crown, base and chair rail trim a crisp white (which were this odd yellowish/ecru color) and paint the walls in both the dining and living room.

Usually instead of paying someone we would normally do something like this ourselves BUT since I'm super, duper prego at the moment and my husband is super, duper, crazy busy at work these days we decided to hire a company to come in and do it.

We've worked with contractors before and all I can say is that unfortunately, most of the time you realize that you would have/could have done a much better job than they did. So needless to say our painters were not the creme of the crop. Hell, they weren't even the nasty bits left over at the bottom... they were just not good. After having them re-do things several times we finally got the rooms to where they were decent, paid the bill and brushed our hands of them.

Anyhoo... we love how fresh and updated it looks now. I know everyone always says it but it truly is amazing what a coat of paint can do for a room... for anything! Here are the before and afters...

Dining Room:

Living Room:

We obviously still need to get a new chandelier and some sort of buffet for the dining room and oh yeah, some actual furniture for the living room would be a good idea too! :) But like I said... baby steps in the right direction!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flip flop cupcakes

My sister-in-law was married in Cincinnati this weekend. It was a gorgeous wedding and she was the most beautiful bride! Look for a post of all the cool details soon!

Back in July she had a beach themed wedding shower. The party was fantastic and looked great, with the beach theme definitely carried throughout. I volunteered to make flip flop cupcakes, an idea I found on a ton of websites online. They seemed pretty simple to put together, with the fondant flip flops the only thing that really required extra time.

I'd never worked with fondant before so I wasn't sure what to expect. Instead of making my own which seemed complicated and more trouble than it's worth, I picked up some pre-made fondant in the wedding/baking section at Joann's Fabric. They have a bunch of different ready made colors to choose from and even some fun patterns like zebra or leopard print.

Next I needed to find a tiny flip flop cookie cutter, one that would fit to scale on a cupcake. After looking around at several places and scouring online I realized I wasn't going to find one small enough. I ended up buying a set of oval shaped cutters of which the smallest size would make the perfect cupcake sized flip flop. Then I had Dave bend in one side of the cutter, making a dip in one side forming the flip flop shape I was looking for. I used this to make both sides, the left and right side of the sandals. I also had him shape a larger cutter into a surf board by pinching in the top of the oval to form the top of the board.

From there I just rolled out each fondant color and cut my flops out two at a time, making sure to turn over one of the sides to make a complete left, right pair.

For the straps I rolled a contrasting color out to a very, very thin tube and bent it into a v-shape. Then, using a tiny bit of water, I lightly wet the fondant where I attached the straps. Laying the strap down I pressed it into the moistened fondant then used a knife to make an impression in the middle of the strap for looks and to also help attach it.

For the sand I frosted the cupcakes with vanilla frosting and then coated each with a layer of brown sugar. After I applied the brown sugar I realized that some of it, the layer touching the frosting was melted into the frosting. I think a better option would be to use ground up graham crackers because they won't melt and will maintain more of a sand like look. Later before I put the cupcakes together I ended up applying a second layer of sugar.