Life is a special occasion

DIY Marshmallow Fondant Part 1

Okay, here we go! DIY marshmallow fondant, part 1.

Lauren Daversa's White Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant

  1. 1 bag of mini marshmallows, about 16 oz
  2. 1 1/2 oz of good quality white chocolate
  3. 1 tsp of clear vanilla extract
  4. 1 tsp of clear butter extract
  5. 2 tbsp of H2O
  6. 1 lb icing sugar
  7. Crisco
  1. Grease a microwavable glass bowl with Crisco.
  2. Add to the bowl the marshmallows, vanilla extract, butter extract and H2O.
  3. Microwave for 60 seconds.
  4. Stir mixture.
  5. While stirring marshmallow mixture, melt the white chocolate in the microwave.
  6. Add the melted white chocolate mixture to your marshmallow mixture.
  7. If the marshmallows have not melted entirely, return to microwave and heat for about 30 seconds; continue until completely melted.
  8. Start adding the icing sugar, a little at a time, and stir. This is a fantastic workout for your arms as the mixture gets oooey-gooey-sticky.
  9. Continue adding sugar and stirring until the consistency of the mixture starts to become dough like.
  10. Generously sprinkle icing sugar on a clean counter, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on top of the icing sugar. Start to knead, and knead and knead. The mixture may stick to your hands, you can grease your hands with Crisco to help combat this. Notice, kneading is also another great workout for your arms!
  11. Continue kneading until the mixture is a dough, adding icing sugar to the counter and/or mixture when necessary.
  12. Voila! You have made marshmallow fondant. Congratulations!!!!

This is as far as I've gotten. Literally, the fondant is wrapped and living on the third or maybe fourth shelf in my refrigerator. I've read as long as fondant is wrapped in saran wrap, and stored in an air tight zip lock, it will keep well. A few sites suggested rubbing the dough with Crisco. I didn't. I'm going to make the cake today and finish the project tonight! I'll soon see if not slathering the fondant in Crisco was a fatal mistake. Don, don, daaaaaaa...

DIY Fondant Cake

As I posted a few days ago, I am making a fondant birthday cake for my daughter's 1st birthday. And, as promised, I am going to post my DIY tutorial on cake baking. For now, here are my pictures of the cakes from which I am drawing my inspiration.

Top left cake is courtesy of Cake Central
Top right cake is courtesy of Cake Central
Bottom left cake is cake # 753 courtesy of Pink Cake Box
Bottom right cake is courtesy of Collette Foley

Vera Wang Lavender Label

Need a pretty dress for an event? Chick Downtown will always be there for you. I found this beautiful asymmetrical strapless Vera Wang gown, part of her Lavender Label on sale for $476. The gown is described as ultimate sophistication and I pretty much agree. The asymmetrically draped mermaid gown enchants in a quietly stunning shade of silvery stone, with boned bodice for support and sleek, smooth lines. It is silk with 7% spandex and reduced from $680. This is a beautiful gown, and would flatter many figures. Definitely a piece I'd put in my closet.

L | D Finds: Where the Sidewalk Ends Envelopes

How serendipitous! I just dusted off my copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends for my daughter not more than one week ago, and today I find these Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein Mini Baby Envelopes on Etsy. Handcrafted from the pages from the wildly popular book, they come in a set of ten mini envelopes and are available from adnagam's shop. Etsy never ceases to amaze me. On top of pulling out my old WTSE and fining these envelopes, I am seconds away from leaving for an event. What's the event? A baby shower!!! Baby envelopes, baby shower. Serendipitous...yes, yes, yes!

Cake Inspiration

Slowly, I am starting to obsess about cakes. Besides the fact I'm an event planner, and cakes and/or desserts play an important role in most every event; I'm also planning my daughter's birthday party and I've decided to make her a very special, 3 tier, fondant birthday cake! Of course, now everywhere I look all I see are cakes, cakes and more cakes!!!

I will post pictures of my DIY birthday cake when start the task next week, but for now here is the most darling cake by Kristine Bender out of Washington D.C. for K Rose Cakes. I came across it on Style Me Pretty. Simple, chic and pink! I hope some day I will be able to make a cake as beautiful as this!

World’s Most Expensive Suit

I came across Born Rich for the first time today when I was researching some ideas to decorate a pool for an upcoming event. Very cool blog with a lot of cha-ching stuff. For instance, I fell in love with these designer pool lamps they posted. They are rechargeable lamps, constructed of waterproof polyethylene, which means no chance of receiving an electric-shock! Priced at $450, they are not for the budget friendly, however they are tres chic and would certainly make any event swank!

Then there was this suit, apparently the world's most expensive suit. Designed by Alexander Amosu and costing £70,000 or $101,860!!! So what makes a suit cost $101, 860? Well, it is its rich make and the number of hours it took to give shape to this formal garment. The one-off creation has taken in excess of 80 hours to complete and is made from vicuña, a rare wild South American animal related to the camel which only produces enough wool for shearing every three years, qiviuk, the world’s most expensive wool, gathered from the Arctic muskox. When blended with pashmina from the high mountain plateaus of the Himalayas they create Vanquish II, one of the world’s most luxurious cloths. The suit features over 5,000 individual stitches equating to £14 (approx. $20) per stitch. And no price for guessing that the suit features diamonds to justify its six-figure price tag. The suit features nine 18-carat gold and pave set diamond buttons to make it worth every penny. The most expensive suit went on sale in London and was sold to a mystery buyer for the mentioned $101,860 price tag.

Photo and article courtesy of Born Rich

DIY: Programs That Double As A CD

Style Me Pretty posted an incredibly chic idea for a wedding ceremony program that doubles as a favor. The idea was created by Bliss Weddings Market and the instructions are detailed below. Hate ending a sentence with a preposition but you learn the rules to break them!

Paperboard CD case (from
Two 1/8″ wide circle eyelets in the color white (from
Eyelet Setter (from
Rubber stamp (from of your desired image (from
One 28″ long ribbon not wider than 3/8″ or 5/8″ (from Michael’s)
Clear embossing ink (from Michael’s)
Embossing Powder in the color of you choice (from Michael’s)
Embossing Heat Gun (from Michael’s)
Pair of scissors or an X-acto ® knife (from Michael’s)
Scrap paper (from Michael’s)
Paper cutter (from Michaels)
Ruler (from Michaels)
Pencil (from Michaels)
Pinking Shears (from Michaels)
Mailing labels (for your CD playlist) (from local Office Supply store)
8-1/2” x 11” decorative paper for the ceremony program (from Michaels)
8-1/2” x 11” vellum paper for the program cover (from Michaels)
8-1/2” x 11” decorative paper for your handmade thank-you note (from Michaels)

1. Place the CD case on top of the scrap paper.
2. Using the clear embossing ink, rubber stamp the image onto the front of the CD case.
3. Generously sprinkle the colored embossing powder over the stamped image.
4. Slide the loose powder onto the scrap paper below.
5. Hover the embossing heat gun over the image as the powder melts producing a metallic, raised image.
6. Put CD case aside to let it cool.

7. Print your CD playlist onto mailing labels.
8. Cut them out using pinking shears to create an interesting edge.
9. Affix the playlist to the inner left side of the CD case.
10. Using your favorite word processing software, design your ceremony program and print it onto your decorative paper.
11. Place the vellum paper behind the ceremony program. Using the paper cutter, slice the papers together to measure approximately 5” wide x 10” long.
12. Place the papers in the interior center of the CD case.
13. Using your pencil, make a mark on the ceremony program 3/4” down from the top of the CD case’s spine and 3/4” up from the bottom of the spine.

14. Using the the tip of scissors (or an X-acto ® knife), carefully poke a small hole where you made your marks. (A hole puncher will not do – the size of its hole is wider than the spine of this CD case.)
15. Insert the eyelets into the top and bottom holes. Make sure the back of the eyelet is facing you.
16. Place the eyelet setter over the top eyelet. Using a blunt object, hammer the setter to flatten the backside of the eyelet. Repeat with the bottom eyelet.
The back of the eyelets should look like a “flower” and will permanently adhere the papers to the interior of the case.
17. To complete the case’s binding, thread your decorative ribbon through the eyelets and make a bow-tie on the side of the case.
18. Insert your personalized audio CD in the interior left pocket of the CD case.
19. Compose a thank-you note to your guests and insert into the inner right pocket of the CD case.

Badgley Mischka Trunk Show

Don't miss the Badgley Mischka Trunk Show at Chic Parisien featuring the designer's latest 2009 bridal collection on April 23-25, 2009. This exquisite collection of wedding apparel features timeless designs in fine silk fabrics, embroideries and French lace. Appointments limited. Please call (305) 448-5756. Chic Parisien is located at 3308 Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables, FL.

Menu For Easter

What did I spy on Martha Stewart today? Pineapple-mustard-glazed ham menu perfect for Easter. The iconic Easter ham gets an enticing update with a new-fashioned glaze of country mustard and fresh pineapple. It's then paired with an ephemeral spring salad, citrus-and-hazelnut-garnished leeks, a rich potato gratin, and simple roasted asparagus. To finish the meal: an egg-shaped cake, delicately flavored with almond and coconut, covered in a heavenly layer of seven-minute frosting and spring flowers.

Photo & article courtesy of Martha Stewart

TOTW: How To Pin Boutonnières

Thankfully, learning how to pin a boutonnière is not difficult but something everyone should know. Maybe not everyone, but many :-) I was reading Soiree Special Events and came across two perfect tutorials. The first one I found comes with pictures, which can only help! The second one can be found at Sweet Brier Flower Shoppe. I think it's written a little clearer but their both equally as good, which is why I am reposting. Got any tips of your own? Share 'em!

1. Make sure you have a boutonnière and at least one pin, preferably two.

2. Pins go in your mouth, holding them with your lips. Try not to stab yourself.

3. Place the flower on the man's left lapel so the area where the stem and bloom meet covers the buttonhole in the jacket. Angle it slightly outward so it gently follows the shape of the lapel's edge.

4. Make a flower hot dog. Pick up the lapel's edge and roll it towards the man's right side. Standing opposite the gentleman, you'll fold it from the right to the left, covering the flower.

5. Holding the fabric tight against the flower, stick the pin in straight towards the gentleman, aiming towards the top part of the stem. Make sure you get a good chunk of stem but not too much so that the pin shows on the front side of the lapel. "Look ma - no pins!"

6. Repeat #5 with your second pin, this time closer to the bottom of the stem. Try not to stab your victim wearer. Tell dad to smile for the photograph:

7. Ask the wearer if it feels secure. Tug on the stem a little to see if it budges. If it moves just a little, try pinning it again until it's stuck on the lapel for good.

As a reminder, the following folks should receive a boutonnière: Groom, Best Men, Groomsmen, Fathers, Grandfathers, Ushers, Readers, and other important gentlemen who have a significant a role in your wedding.

When pinning corsages, the same rules apply but there is usually no lapel to hide pins. I try and include a little bit of bra strap, especially when the woman's dress is a sheer or light material. Instead of aiming the pins horizontally, I typically stick the pins more vertically and leave the pointy part inside of the stem so it doesn't stab it's wearer. I can usually secure a corsage with 2 pins but you might want to have 3 on hand just in case.

In The News: New U.S. Cigar Tax

A CF Dominicana Cigars roller at a Maybach Mercedes event
at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach

New U.S. cigar tax has companies split on whether to raise prices for rollers at events. Cigar rollers and manufacturers across the country received a tax increase on Wednesday with the reenactment of the State Children's Health Insurance Program that President Obama signed into law in February. Though the tax increase was significant, from a 4.8 cent tax per cigar to nearly 10 times that amount, companies that supply cigar rollers for events—a popular entertainment option across Florida—are split on whether to raise their prices.

Santiago Cabana Cigars manager Liama Cavana said the tax has forced the company to raise its rate from $500 to $540 per hour. Echoing that sentiment, Miami Stogies will also increase its pricing by roughly $12 to 14 per bundle of 25 cigars.

The legislation is an extension of a prior program that Congress proposed twice during George W. Bush's administration, though he refused to sign. Finally approved and signed by President Obama in February, the bill will provide health coverage to uninsured children, paid for by an increased tax on tobacco products made and imported into the United States.

Will the price increase curb rollers' presence at Florida events? Ysset Boan, president of planning company Glam Events in Miami, said she'll continue to book cigar rollers even if their prices increase as a result of the tax. "If it went along with the theme or what the client wanted, I would definitely do it again," said Boan. "I really don't think the tax will affect them that much, especially if you have an event with a lot of cigar aficionados."

Photo Courtesy of CF Dominicana Cigars
Article Courtesy of Biz Bash by D. Channing Muller

L | D Finds: $1.5 Million Peacock Dress

Read an unusual post on Twitter today fromWFDiamondDebi about a $1.5 million dollar wedding dress. The dress was unveiled at the wedding expo held in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province. The wedding dress is decorated with 2,009 pieces of peacock feathers and took eight handicraftsmen two months to finish.

I'm filled with mixed emotion when I look at this dress. On one hand, it's impossible to deny that it is an incredible design, however. I am saddened when I think of how many peacocks were plucked of their beautiful feathers in order to create it. Maybe it's because peacocks are such majestic creatures, or maybe it's because they hold a particular spot in my heart. During college in New York, I walked passed St. John's two, three, four times every day for six years. The cathedral is famous for the peacocks that live on the property. Thousands of tourists and New Yorkers visit St. John's just to get a glimpse of the peacocks and I can't imagine harming them simply to make a dress that pretty much 99.9999999999999% of the population will never, ever wear.

On a better note, I really like White Flash Diamond's blog. White Flash Diamonds is a specialist on-line diamond boutique with a history of offering the discerning on-line buyer diamonds that exceed the world’s highest standards for craftsmanship and performance and their blog is great. Their latest post is on crystallized chevy blinged out with more than 150,000 pieces of Swarovski Crystal. A must see!

Top Photo Courtesy of WFDiamondDebi on Twitter
Bottom Two Photos Courtesy of SINA

TOTW: Assembling Wedding Invitations

If you have read any of my previous posts, this will come as no surprise. Martha Stewart is untouchable. I was perusing and thought her tidbit on assembling the elements to be worthy enough for this week's TOTW. Enjoy!

All enclosures should be printed in the same method and on coordinating papers; here's the order in which they should be stacked to go in the outer envelope. The invitation is on the bottom, print side up. A sheet of tissue paper (originally used to prevent smearing) can be placed over it. Stack all other inserts, such as a map, reception card, and reply card, on the invitation in order of size (smallest on top). The reply card should be under its envelope's flap; this envelope should be preprinted with the mailing address, and should be stamped as well. Insert everything into the inner envelope with the print side up, so that when guests open the envelopes they will see the lettering. (The same rules apply with a single-fold invitation, where the print appears on the front. For a French-fold, or double-fold, invitation, which has the print inside, all enclosures go inside the card.) Slip the unsealed inner envelope into the outer envelope with the names facing the back flap.

L | D Finds: DIY Place Cards

Rachel Ray has some fun ideas, including these DIY, custom design/print place cards. The guest check is awesome. Place card and menu all in one! There are so many creative and inspiring projects that ANYONE can do, even those who swear they do not have a creative bone in their body. If you are having a few friends over for dinner, why to click and print something like this to place at their seat. It is the little details that make each event special and memorable.

Table For Ten Requires 72" And No Less

I'm working on seating arrangements for an upcoming event where there is limited space available for everything. As it always does, the guest list has increased and we are now faced with the issue of how many people can be seated at each table. The secret to creating a great event is ironing out the seating arrangement. The numbers don't lie so don't ruin the occasion by trying to squeeze in too many people at each table. Here is a great table and chair set up guide from Home Furnish.

Types of dining and their appropriate setup

The nature of the occasion at hand should drive the type of chair arrangement or setup you decide upon. For sit-down events with served dining, at least 12 to 14 square feet of space per chair are the suggested guidelines for your setup. This type of seating allows for a table, chair and full-service aisle.

For restaurant or cafeteria-type seating, 12 square feet of space is suggested as part of your guidelines, while buffets, banquets or seminars need at least 10 square feet to comfortably seat your guests. A little more space-efficient, cocktail and theatre-style seating setup requires around 8 square feet of space per person-or chair, including the isle.

Setup guidelines to keep in mind

A lateral seating setup requires at least 24 to 30 inch of space in between each chair, while diagonal seating is the most space-efficient type of setup. However, if you are planning to have armchairs or a chair style that is oversized at the table, figure on taking up more space per chair than estimated in these guidelines.

Guidelines state that your minimum aisle dimensions should be at least 36 inches in perimeter areas while 42 inches is preferred between rows for your setup. When each chair is placed back-to-back with another chair, standard guidelines suggest you make sure there is enough space along the service aisle even when each chair is pushed back for this style of setup.

Chair setup made easy

The following guidelines will help you determine how many people will comfortably fit around each size table. For seminar use, the setup should reflect placing every chair on only one side of the table, so make sure you calculate the number of people accordingly. Try these guidelines on for size for your next round or rectangular-arrangement.

Round table setup
  • A 36-inch table seats four people
  • A 42-inch table seats five people
  • A 48-inch table seats five people
  • A 54-inch table seats six people
  • A 60-inch table seats eight people
  • A 72-inch table seats ten people

Rectangle table setup
  • A 24-inch x 60-inch table seats two people
  • A 24-inch x 72-inch table seats three to four people
  • A 24-inch x 96-inch table seats four to five people
  • A 30-inch x 72-inch table seats six people
  • A 30-inch x 96-inch table seats eight people
Photo Courtesy of Perfect Wedding Day

Wedding Etiquette: Responsibilities Of The Best Man

Being Best Man is about a lot more than giving a speech and planning the bachelor party. While both of those jobs are important, it’s the little things you do for the Groom that he’ll truly appreciate. Especially considering the groom will be under a tremendous amount of stress in the weeks and days leading up to the wedding. Here are some of the big things a Best Man can do from a very cool website, The Man Registry, that will ease the Groom’s mind and solidify your position as Best Man.

  • Organize the Bachelor Party – This one is a no brainer. Giving the groom a memorable last night out with his buddies is one of the most important things you’ll do. Be sure to know the groom’s thoughts about strippers before booking them. If you’re planning on dinner before the drinking begins, it’s always nice to include the fathers and younger siblings who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to be a part of the party.
  • Write your speech – Let’s face it: We’ve all seen some “interesting” Best Man speeches in our lifetimes. Your goal is for your speech to be remembered for its classiness, rather than for the number of many embarrassing stories you can share with the groom’s unsuspecting family and loved ones.
  • Assist the Groom with wedding planning tasks – Helping the groom and his family decorate for the rehearsal dinner, arranging the wedding transportation, and helping out-of-town guests with directions may seem like small things, but they’ll be a huge help to the groom.
  • On the day of the wedding, be the groom’s right-hand man – Starting from the time he wakes up; you need to be at the groom’s side, keeping him focused and on task. Depending on the time of the wedding, you may have time to go out for breakfast or a quick nine holes. In the hours immediately prior to the wedding, help him get dressed, drive him to the church, and give him a pep talk. He’ll undoubtedly thank you for calming his nerves.
  • Remember your Best Man duties – Don’t forget some of the things that your job title requires, including keeping the rings safe until they’re exchanged and then signing the marriage license as a legal witness to the nuptials after the ceremony.
  • The Reception – We all know how much fun you can have at a wedding reception (especially one with an open bar). After giving your speech, you’ll surely want to let loose. Just remember that it’s important that you’re able to help a little after the party is over. You may be asked to drive the couple to the hotel or to the airport. If not, the bride’s family is always appreciative of extra help in cleaning up and packing gifts into cars.
  • Your final job – The day after the wedding, you’ll be expected to return both the groom's tuxedo as well as your own to the rental shop. It’s also important to find out what time the shop closes, in case you need some extra time to recuperate the next day.

There are a substantial number of sites that have their own versions of responsibility lists. I also like the list found on, The Knot!

Photo Courtesy of David Bates Photographic

TOTW: How Not To Faint At The Altar

I was surfing the Internet and came across this article, "How NOT to Faint at the Altar" by Kathy Boyd-McLaughlin. Many brides and some grooms fear that they will faint once they are at the altar. I am not sure how applicable some of these tips are, and it seems a bit over dramatic to even prepare for such an event, however. The ceremony is a high pressure situation and fainting at the altar is a definite possibility. Especially in hot weather, or if the bride is wearing a tight dress. Here are a few of the tips listed to keep in mind in case you feel you are going to "keel" over! But I'm interested to know any other suggestions...

  • The night before the wedding, pack smelling salts and give them to your Officiant, maid of honor or best man. Make sure they will be close in case you need them.

  • The day of the wedding, avoid eating heavy meals but rather try eating lightly throughout the day. Do make sure you eat enough though.

  • Eat chicken or fish, cold salads, cheese and crackers, toast, scrambled eggs, bagels, and lightly seasoned pasta dishes (avoiding spicy tomato sauces and try for pasta in light olive oil.

  • Avoid gas-producing foods such as beans, cauliflower and broccoli.)

  • This may sound crazy, but eating salty foods like popcorn, potato chips and salty pretzels an hour before your wedding, will help you to retain water, eliminating the urge to have to go to the bathroom.

  • When standing, never lock your knees and stand with your legs apart even with your shoulders, knees relaxed.

  • Request chairs or a place to sit at the altar be provided so that if you do feel overcome with dizziness, you will be able to sit.

  • Take advantage of the prayers. Bend your head and breath slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling to a slow, mental count of 7.

  • Lean on your fiancé if you must.

  • Dress for the season. If you are marrying in the colder months, do not wear a summer gown. You should feel comfortable. If you are marrying in the warmer months, avoid heavy under clothes such as crinolines and petticoats.

  • Your dress should fit you comfortably, not too tight.

  • Choose a gown with short or no sleeves (if your Officiant allows). If you must choose a gown with sleeves, make sure they are loosely fitted, lacy or illusion material. Make sure your dress lets you "breath".

  • Choose shoes that will let you stand comfortably and do make sure they are broken in. If you must, take them to a shoemaker and have them stretched so that they aren't binding on your wedding day.

  • Avoid heavy scents and perfumes, which are overly sweet smelling. They can overcome your senses and make you feel nauseous if you are dizzy.

  • Have water available and close by.

  • If you do feel that none of this is helping, simply whisper to your Officiant that you feel faint and have him/her seat you and your bridal party

  • Ask to bring in fans if air circulation or air conditioning is a problem.

  • Relaxing is most important. Before walking down the aisle, you may find that a short "loosening up" is in order. Shake your arms and legs and do a few head and neck rolls. You may look funny, but it does help.

Photo courtesy of Flickr