Let Them Eat Cake!

18 Nov

Today’s post is going to be about a new favorite topic… wedding cake!  I have found this to be one of my favorites parts of planning for my wedding!  For anyone with a sweet tooth, how can it not be?  Luckily, Chris shares my sweet tooth so we had a lot of fun throwing around ideas and plotting and planning.

A few months ago, I came across an article about Queen Victoria’s wedding cake in Entertainment Weekly.  Her wedding is credited for being the first to have a cake. And it’s pretty ornate!

I couldn’t find a picture online, but here is Queen Elizabeth’s cake:

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Princess Grace Kelly of Morocco:

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Prince Pavlov of Greece and Marie Chantal Miller:

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I love the scalloped design and the fresh, pretty colors! The cake at a wedding can be a real show stopper, if it’s done right. When we were planning, my mom bought the Martha Stewart’s Wedding Cakes book, and we had a blast pouring over the pages, drooling over the decadent and well-executed cakes! Here are some of my favorites:

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I love the delicate, feminine look of this cake. The French Madeline cookies, the pink icing, the decor on the upper edge of each layer. A scaled down version of this would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower!

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This cake is ornate! No novices could pull this off, but it still has a simple, understated look that keeps it from seeming too intricate.

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This was one of my favorites. I love the rustic simplicity of this cake, and how it still manages to look elegant and refined. This was a design we considered for our wedding cake! We eventually wound up going with something else but I plan to make a smaller version of this!

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This served as an inspiration for the Groom’s Cake. For those who don’t know of this tradition, the Groom’s cake is another cake served at the wedding that the bride has made based on the tastes, hobbies, and interests of the Groom. Sometimes it’s a surprise, but it doesn’t have to be. This is a tradition that originated in the South. I kept the cake topper for ours a secret from Chris, but told him about the flavors I had planned. He loves chocolate and peanut butter, so he was a little hesitant when I didn’t want to consider chocolate for our wedding cake. Our groom’s cake was chocolate, with peanut butter ganache filling and rippled chocolate icing, like in the above picture. The bakers gilded fruit that my mom and aunt found with gold food powder, and used nuts, greenery, and red berries to top both the groom’s cake and the wedding cake. Perched in the middle of the groom’s cake was a small figurine of Chris’ beloved corgi, Snuffy.

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My aunt, Jill, is a master chef and baker. She was originally going to bake both the wedding cake and groom’s cake, but we ran into issues with the logistics. She still made a killer pumpkin spice cake for my bridesmaids’ luncheon!

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©2012 Verite Creative

Now that I’ve indulged myself in a little sweet talk today, time to go clean… the mound of clothes in the laundry hamper isn’t going to wash itself! More related articles below!

Something Old, Something New…

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A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to be married to my best friend! We were married in the Historic District in downtown Charleston, SC. Since Chris and I tend to gravitate towards all things vintage, we were married in the beautiful Episcopal church that my parents attend. It has been around since the 1700′s, built before the US was a country. In fact, George Washington even worshipped in one of the pews! The reception was at another Colonial Era building two doors down. It was built as a Society Hall but now also serves as a reception hall for weddings and other events.  If those walls could talk, I’m sure there would be all kinds of stories!

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Before the wedding, my mom gave me my Something Old. It was a handkerchief that a friend of hers had sewn into a baby bonnet, and that I had worn home from the hospital after being born. It came with a poem that instructed the bride to snip the threads in order to have a handkerchief to carry on her wedding day. As my mom read the poem to me and held the bonnet I wore home from the hospital over 30 years ago, tears rolled down her face.

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It was a moment I will never forget. It was such a neat idea, and so special, I have decided to try to revive this beautiful trend. I have started going through my collection of vintage handkerchiefs to find hankies pretty enough to be made into bonnets, to give as gifts!  I think I have some winners… will post updates on this.

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Light the Way!

23 Aug

So lately my thing has been lanterns. There is something so classic and festive in the beauty of a lit lantern in the dark. Luckily, with the end of Summer sales going on now, this particular indulgence hasn’t been as heavy a hit on my wallet as it could have been.

Chris and I have been doing some work on the house in hopes of making it into a “grown up” home that looks like a married couple lives there! Most of the serious work will have to wait until after the wedding and probably the holidays too, since they will be pretty soon after. But for now, we are having a lot of fun planning!

This week, I went by Pier 1 because they were having a sale on a lot of their Summer and outdoor stuff. We recently acquired a papazan frame and Pier 1 had exactly the right cushion we were looking for, on sale! While I was there, I couldn’t help browsing through the rest of the store and picked up these, too:

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Cannot wait to get some pretty, spice-scented pillar candles and put these babies to work!  I love the antique look the Fleur de Lis pattern and antique finish lend these lanterns.

Also recently bought this smaller lantern from Candles by Connie:

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This purchase was inspired by some lanterns my aunt has from Williamsburg Marketplace. I love the way the ivory paint gives them a more elegant, colonial look. Will definitely be creating a centerpiece around this new lantern on the dining room table this Fall!

And now, I am off to take a nap and hopefully get rid of this little bug that I seem to have caught…

Happy Treasure Hunting, everyone!

New Vintage Finds!

18 Jun

My life has been quite the whirlwind since last October, and I apologize for just now starting back to blogging!  Below are some pictures of new vintage finds that I love more than my luggage!

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Wedding Belles!

31 Oct

A few weeks ago, I went to Pittsburgh for the wedding of a friend that I have known since we were literally babies in diapers. I can’t say enough good things. Getting to see old friends and family is always fun and since it was for such an exciting occasion, it made it all the more amazing.

Chris and I were flying standby with Buddy Passes from his good friend, and arrived at the airport to find out that all flights were booked for the rest of the day. Luckily, we were able to make friends with a wonderful lady named Patty at the airport who was also flying standby to Pittsburgh for the Teal Ribbon Comedy at the Magee-Women’s Research Institute & Foundation. Patty’s daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer several years ago and they were celebrating the fact that it was in remission by attending this fundraiser (and getting to watch her grandsons’ football games over the course of the weekend too). She informed us of another flight leaving for Cleveland and invited us to drive the 2 hours to Pittsburgh with her. What could have been a really frustrating and overall bad day became a fun day of adventure as we made our detour to get to Pittsburgh and see family and friends.

We spent the majority of the weekend walking around the Strip District, which is where we were staying. It was enough to make us all fall in love! Chris and I have made plans to go back soon! While there, we went in a few stores of note. Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. was pretty awesome! My mom and I snagged huge bottles of good Italian olive oil, my sister got a large can of tomatoes that she swears make the best pasta sauce in the world, and my dad got a 4 ft long pepperoni! He plans to make pepperoni rolls with it.

The Happiness Project and Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

30 Oct

Recently I joined a book club.  I love reading but don’t read quality material enough and find myself out of touch with what books are being written these days that are worth reading. So as an attempt to keep myself from spending too much money on Amazon, buying books that I wind up only reading partially and then moving on to the next, I decided to join a book club. What better way to motivate myself to actually finish a book and have the opportunity to (hopefully) make friends in the process?

The book that will be discussed in the first meeting I get to attend is “The Happiness Project: or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closet, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin.

I love this book so far.

For those who have not heard of this (now that we don’t have Oprah to dictate what is a Rah-Rah-I-Am-Woman-Feel-Good book), Gretchen Rubin was happily married to the love of her life, with two healthy daughters, plenty of friends, and a really awesome career who came to the realization one day that she was taking her life for granted.  And so the Happiness Project was born. The Happiness Project was her year-long attempt to get organized, prioritize what is really important, and strengthen her relationships.

The premise of this book is highly relateble.  It’s so easy to put off tasks you know you need to do, get irritated at the person in traffic who cuts you off, allow yourself to give in to momentary annoyances and snap at people close to you. But what does it really solve? These are all things that add to stress, and that is something that everyone in this day and age has way too much of to begin with. Why not do everything we can to minimize it?

Rubin begins her project with copious amounts of research before she actually begins her project. One of the sources that she seems to draw inspiration from are Benjamin Franklins’s List of 13 Virtues. She wound up making her own list of ways she wanted to improve, and encourages her readers to do the same. I vaguely remembered hearing about these from a course in college but decided to look them up, and found them to be pretty inspirational myself.

What I find so interesting about all of this is that Rubin is not suffering from depression. She’s not unhappy. In fact, she is happy. she makes a point of recounting conversations with her sister, an acquaintance, and a few conversations with her husband about this. It’s not that she’s dissatisfied with her life – quite the opposite. She’s just such an over achiever that she asks herself “how can I get more out of this?” That is not a direct quote, by the way.

As Americans, we want more bang for our buck. We want bigger portions, faster cars, better quality clothes. Why shouldn’t we apply this same thought process to wanting the most satisfaction from life that we can possibly get? Each person only gets one, so really we owe it to ourselves to make it the happiest we possibly can.

While reading this book, I have been inspired to make my own happiness project (which is actually what Rubin wants to inspire others to do). So I’ve decided to devote one week to each of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues and will be posting about them.

So, I will begin tonight.

WEEK 1: Temperance

“Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

Rubin says that this is the first on the list, because the idea behind it was that once this was conquered, the rest would naturally be easier to handle.

I find this to be one that is important to me because I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. Most of the time, I’ve been within a healthy weight range, but have always been on the heavier side. So this week I’m making a conscious effort to follow this virtue.

My Future Ride

24 Oct

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Just sayin’… someday I’d love to cruise in this!!

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