Summer memories

I adore summer!  I mean, who doesn’t?  The smell of freshly mowed grass, steaks on the grill and children giggling while running through sprinklers.  Summer certainly provokes wonderful memories.
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 Summer weddings are possibly my favorite, except the ones set outside when its stifling hot. 

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Now, for those of you who aren’t from the south, the definition of the word describes summers here to a tee!

Definition of Stifling (of heat, air, or a room) very hot and causing difficulties in breathing; suffocating.
“stifling heat”
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Now throw in a candy buffet…you can only imagine how I cringe when a client is insistent upon on having an outdoor candy buffet in the middle of summer!  It makes me sweat just thinking about it.  I had a couple come to me with just this idea and at first, I must admit, I was dreading it, not the candy bar…the outdoor part.  But the more that I got to know this couple and their amazing love for one another, the more I was willing to do whatever needed to make this work. 

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The bride lost her mother at a young age and as a mother of two daughters, my heart immediately ached for her.   I think it’s most mothers dream to watch their beautiful daughter walk down the aisle, so I wanted this small part of their day to be as beautiful as possible. 

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Her mother’s favorite candy were circus peanuts, so we decided to incorporate them into her pink & white themed buffet, which turned out to be a beautiful addition.

The rest of the candy bar was filled in with white & pink candies along with champagne truffles.Maness_0759 Maness_0761

The day finally arrived and don’t you know that right smack dead in the middle of summer we had a front move in that provided that particular day with an abundance of beautiful sun & cool temperatures!  It was like magic or maybe an angel looking over this sweet girls day.  It was truly amazing…what a wonderful memory!

When creating the perfect candy buffet for your event, be sure to display an array of different candies….a little something for everyone.  Plan for 1/4lb per guest; remember, it’s a guestimate as some guests will take more and some will take less. 

Here are a couple of websites I recommend ordering your bulk candy.  Remember, if your event is in the summer, you will need to make sure they are delivered with cold packs and shipping can be more expensive. Candy Warehouse, Sweet City Candy!

Overload your summer with beautiful memories! 

XOXO

Robin

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Get outside of the lines!

Recently, while researching fresh Derby party ideas, I came across these beautiful creations by artist Shannon Kirsten and had to put Derby on hold so I could share…

Derby isn’t for another couple of weeks anyway!

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I LOVE all things outside the lines!  When I got married, the first time around, there was a system…pick your dress, choose a cake, and select a “catalog” invite.  There was nothing special; actually, it was very UNspecial.  Nothing about any part of that wedding defined me or my style.

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Shannon Kirsten is a Florida based illustrator and photographer. She is inspired by bright colors, patterns, quirky design, vintage, and the seaside town she calls home. 

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Her designs are far outside the lines from the “catalog” wedding invitations. 

These invitations are so incredible that I would plan a wedding around them!  I love her technique, design & their uniqueness. 

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Her wedding design packages begin at $425.00 & includes a set of 50 formal invitations and 50 RSVP cards with white standard envelopes.  She also offers additional inserts, table numbers, envelope liners, place cards, escort cards, signage, etc.

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You can check out her designs at….

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photo credits: Best Photography

Food & Libations!

“To share food is to share your heart.”

I believe there is nothing more true than that statement.  Some of my most fond memories are ones with family when I was young.  The food was cooked and served with love & usually consisted of something with a whole lot of butter or fried, which is how us “southerners” learn to eat at an early age.

For Drew & Anne’s engagement party we’ve decided to serve cocktails & light hors d’oeuvre’s for an early Saturday evening cocktail hour.  We wanted to make sure our guests were able to enjoy Keeneland’s last race day for spring meet.  Located in the heart of Lexington’s horse farms, Keeneland plays an important role in both Thoroughbred racing and breeding and hosts meets during April & October.

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Keeneland Horse Track Lexington, Kentucky

For casual gatherings, try using small flowers or herbs in ice cubes to create beautiful additions to drinks.  If you’re planning on serving a “signature” drink, coordinate your flowers with drink colors or use herbs to add some flare.

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One of my favorite appetizers, is a cheese & meat platter.  Investigate local cheese & wine stores for unique meats & cheeses.  Follow these simple thoughts to have your guests coming back for more.

  1. Different types of cheeses. Everyone loves their cheese for a specific reason, so think about it this way: something classic, something spicy, something aged, and something goat.  Place labels in each of the cheeses so it wont leave your guests guessing.
  2. Crunchies. Use a combination of pita chips, French bread, and crackers. My future daughter-in-law is gluten-free, so I would add mini rice cakes & gluten free crisps!
  3.  Don’t forget the spreads. I really encourage you to use jams & preserves; they are absolutely yummy on crackers with cheese & meats.  My favorite is apricot preserves…give it a try.
  4. Extra, extra. Always incorporate mixed and specialty nuts, fruits, and olives.
  5. Meat. Jazz up your platter with a fine selection of meats such as salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. Be sure to try something different.

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Use shot glasses for fresh vegetables and creamy herb dressing.  You can purchase small shot glasses at local grocery stores & places like Target, & Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Make sure they are big enough to fit a good sized portion in each.  Place on platters using different heights; I am a big believer of PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION!

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We are true Kentuckians so we will use bourbon barrels to create food tables & bar tops located throughout the garden.  I love the texture they add to our soft theme.

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& DON’T forget the sweets!  My husband is one of those people who looks at the desert menu before the rest of the menu so we will, without question, share a yummy treat with our guests. How precious are these cupcakes?  A wonderful DIY!  Pick up some miniature cupcakes at your local bakery, lightly spritz flowers with water, sprinkle with sugar & place on top of cupcakes…BAM!  A beautiful addition to ANY party!

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Sweet Love,

Robin

Garden Engagement Party

After the last couple weeks of record breaking snow totals and arctic temperatures, I thought I would share some thoughts for a lovely spring garden engagement party we will be hosting for my son & future daughter!  They were engaged last November at Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Kentucky.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Woodford Reserve is one of the top bourbon distilleries in the world.  It’s landscape is beautiful no matter what time of year but if you plan a visit, I suggest spring or early summer.

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Woodford Reserve Distillery Versailles, Kentucky

We opted out of throwing a celebration right away due to the holidays.  My husband and I have 5 children, 1 daughter in law, and one amazing granddaughter between the two of us, and only one who lives in Lexington, so you can imagine how festive our home becomes between Thanksgiving & Christmas!  We decided to break the traditional engagement party timeline and wait until we could take advantage of my father and stepmother’s incredible garden.  The garden is an amazing backdrop for any party but we knew right away it was THE spot for this celebration.  Tall mossy brick walls surround the garden and nestled among the ivy and beautiful spring flowers are statues, water ornaments and all sorts of lovely surprises.  I am a huge fan of using your own space if you can; backyards, kitchens, & gardens all provide space that allows you to create memories & at the end of the day, isn’t that what life is truly about?

IMG_1285[1]I love to find unique ideas and items to incorporate into my events.  Whether it’s a theme, color, or particular object, I like to design around an idea to create a true ambiance & feeling that thought and love are the center of the occasion.  For this event, I wanted to really focus on the natural beauty of the garden.  One particular element that I am completely in love with is watercolors & invitations created through watercolor has to be on the top of my all time favorite list.

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Find these beautiful designs on Yao Cheng Designs at

http://www.yaochengdesign.com/wedding/

These invitations would really set the theme for the evening.  Their beautiful colors and hand painted designs would make me want to frame it if I received one!  It is so important that we support artists; they allow us to be individuals and to showcase our own styles and vision.  I encourage you to always research for local artists and incorporate their talents into your event.

When it comes to flowers there is no contemplating my favorite….PEONIES, PEONIES, PEONIES!  Their beauty and elegance is simply amazing.  They come in different colors and varieties and you simply can not go wrong.  Here is the tricky part of peonies….May and June are really the months you can get these without taking out a second mortgage.  So, if you are planning a Derby party take advantage of their small window.

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Now that you’ve had a sneak peek of whats to come of our garden party planning, I hope you will follow us on our journey to celebrate two amazing people!  Next we will share thoughts on food and libations….one of my favorite topics!

Sweet Love!

Robin