Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Budget 'Moons

Once all of the vendors for your wedding are paid for, you may be wondering how you're going to afford a fun and relaxing honeymoon. With a little creativity, you can create a fabulous and budget friendly trip. The key is to keep things closer to home and to focus on the activities you want to do, rather then the locale. For the next few weeks, we'll be featuring some fun, low cost trips in the pacific northwest that you can create for an amazing honeymoon!

Adventure 'Moon
For an active, outdoor, full of fun vacation, our first trip is (believe it or not!) Leavenworth, WA. Yes, I know Leavenworth has it's fair amount of kitsch and cheese but, by keeping it local and in the mountains you can save money and have a handful of outdoor activities right at your fingertips. And trust, me there's so much to do that hanging out in the town will be a mere afterthough!

For accommodations, check out the Abendblume Pension. Located in Leavenworth, but off the strip, it's close to town but still peaceful and quiet. Abendblume is a bed and breakfast that offers incredible service, amazing views, comfortable rooms and some of the most affordable rates I could find for the quality that you receive. As with any B&B, breakfast is included. Perhaps stay in their Schneewitchen room which comes with a beautiful canopied bed, jetted tub, private balcony and fireplace.

When it comes to activities, Leavenworth isn't short on anything. A sampling of to-do activities includes rock climbing, river rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, wine tasting, tubing, movies, spa treatments, cooking classes, and more. You could easily find enough activities to fill each day.
So how does Leavenworth stack up on cost? For 6 days and 5 nights and a sample of activities:
  • Hotel accommodations in a romantic suite+breakfast: $880
  • River Rafting for two: $170
  • Horseback riding for two: $90
  • Full day mountain bike rentals for two: $80
  • Touring local wineries: free
  • Hiking: free
  • Touring the town: free
  • Tubing, two all day tube rentals: $30
  • Total: $1,250

Our Picks for things to do: Check out the Osprey Rafting Co. For the above price, you get a half day of river rafting and lunch is included. Gustav's can't be beat when it comes to getting German sausages and saurkraut. They also have an amazing selection of beers to choose from. Tired from playing outside but not ready to hit your room yet? The Icicle Junction Activities Center has a movie house playing new films and mini golf (honeymoon+mini golf+sexy bet=fun for both of you!). Or wind down with a couples' massage in your room. Eagle Creek Ranch offers affordable horseback riding options for all skill levels and, if you're feeling gutsy, contact the Mountain School for guided rock climbs!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Freebie Friday: I Heart Earth Day!

Spring is finally here!! The tulips are opening, the sun is shining and . . .it's . . .FRIDAY!! And not just any Friday, the last Friday of the month. . .the last Friday of the month AND it's Earth Week!! Woo! So let's celebrate and give something away shall we??

In honor of the aforementioned Earth Week, BB Jean is giving away a delightful, 100% organic cotton tote bag featuring the endearing phrase "I heart to recycle" from Nordstrom! It's durable enough to hold a bagful of books, roomy enough to carry quite a few trinkets, but moderately sized so you won't feel like you'll be swallowed whole by your tote bag.
Take it along to the farmer's market and stock it with goodies, use it for a sightseeing daytrip, or just strut around town with it on your shoulder!

How do you win this fabulous item? Leave a comment on today's post telling me your favorite way to go green! One winner will be chosen randomly next Friday!

Freebie Q&A:

Q: Can I post anonymously?

A: YES. . . .BUT you need to send me an email repeating your comment and have your name and email in it so I know who you are in case you win!

Q: If I won last month, can I enter this month?

A: Sure!

Q: Will you use my info and send it to other vendors?

A: Eh, I'm not a fan of having my privacy invaded so no, your info will only be used to contact you in the event that you win.

Q: What determines the freebies that are given away?

A: I always try to pick local goodies first, if it isn't local I try to keep it eco-friendly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Glamorous Wedding Wishes

Here's a stunning guestbook alternative from Here Comes The Guide. It features a wedding wish tree: guests write a "wish" for the bride and groom on provided cards and hang them from the tree. It creates a fabulous focal point to the entrance of the reception or ceremony, and at the end of the night, the "wishes" can be packed up for the bride and groom to read together on their honeymoon.

Care to make your own? You'll need a few larger vases, glass vase beads (or rocks, or other sturdy material), branches, strings of beads, card, pens and a sign explaining to guests what it's all about. Having your maids write you a few wishes in advance to hang on the tree before the reception starts isn't a bad idea either.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Show Your Mom a Little Love...

...and help other women in your community!

Soroptimist International of Bellingham is hosting a Mother's Day Brunch at the Hotel Bellwether Ballroom. Take the special women in your life out for a scrumptious seaside meal and feel warm and fuzzy from the fact that 100% of profit made from the event goes back to help other women in your community!

Soroptimist International of Bellingham is a nonprofit organization that seeks to better women and girls in their community and the world. Past projects have included annual scholarships for higher education, jerelry drives and fundraising for other organizations in Whatcom County including Lydia Place and the YWCA.

Need a few more reasons to bring your mom? How about amazing food prepared by the Harborside Bistro? Or perhaps the beautiful (and hopefully sunny) view of Bellingham Bay? How about instant seating? This event is for ticket holders only so you're guaranteed a chair when you arrive!

Tickets are $35 for adults and $16 for children 10 and under. There are limited numbers available so if you're interested, email me at or call!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Cakes for a Big Day

I love cupcakes! They're petite, they're cute, they're just downright fun! And for weddings, they make a cost effective alternative to the traditional cake: smaller price per cupcake, no cake cutting fee, etc. And with the growing trend, it's becoming easier to find elegant versions for your fete!
This fabulous pic is from Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle. And their cupcakes. are. amazing. Although, they're a bit tricky to use for weddings in Bellingham, WA (for my own wedding, they had to be picked up the day before by a wedding guest) they're worth the stop when you're in Seattle and to utilize for events in that area. They have an amazing attention to quality and detail and can be extremly elegant when topped with buttercream flowers.
Bella Cupcake Couture now offers fashion for your cupcakes! Paper wraps are available in many colors and styles to complement your event.

Little details go a long way. Like these cupcake picks made by Kimberly of Blue Ribbon Design. She used leftover letterpress paper scraps to make little flags for each cupcake. This little addition was affordable and made the cupcakes look cohesive and match the event. I love it!
I'm all about making things easy for guests. Another alternative to the cute flags is to label your cupcakes. These picks were made from leftover paper used in the wedding stationery and printed in matching fonts. They make it easy for guests to determine which flavor to pick-these cupcakes were two of six cake/cupcake/pie choices for guests-making the dessert line move a little faster.
This has nothing really to do with weddings. Although, I suppose it would be a great treat to send a stressed-out bride . . . Either way, it's delightful and I'm so glad I ran across it on the Soap Queen's blog! Saint Cupcake, in Portland OR now ships a fun and festive cupcake kit to you or a friend. Their interactive selection tool online lets you drag and click three cupcake flavors, three frosting choices and three sprinkle types into your cart to make a fun "make-your-own-cupcake" set-no baking required! Everything arrives ready-to-assemble and includes a frosting spreader for instant gratification.
If you're in Bellingham, you're in luck. Tasty cupcakes have been springing up all over the place so you won't have to travel far to treat yourself. One of the most prominent sources is the Bellingham Farmer's Market. Liz Kovaks, owner of Icing on the Cake in Ferndale, WA has become a regular vendor at the Saturday markets with her amazing cupcakes and she also handles special orders for weddings and events. And, only a few weeks ago in fact, Katie's Cupcakes opened in Fairhaven. Located on Harris St, near the Village Green they offer a selection of cupcake and cookie goodies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where for art thou BB?!

It's been and will be a crazy couple of weeks for me and I apologize in advance for not getting the blog posts out in my usual timeliness. Not to fret though, when these weeks are over, I will have plenty of new inspiration coming your way (yes, the summer wedding season is almost here!)!

Please keep checking back for new posts- I promise I haven't abandonded my blog!


Friday, April 10, 2009

A Non-Peep-Eater's Guide to Handling Peeps

Yes, it's that time again. The sun begins shining a bit more, the daffodils start to bloom and the Peeps are back in stores.

Peep obsession has always boggled me. And those who like the taste of the sugary, corn syrupy birds boggle me even more. I was never really a big fan of them, and yet every year, there they were in my basket. It's like the parent manual states that there must be a packet of peeps in every child's Easter basket regardless of how many times they tell you they hate them. I still get them. But thankfully now I know what to DO with them . . .

So officially, here it is, my dedicated post to non-peep eaters. Here is a basic sampling of things to do with your stash of Peeps: from elegant and refined to downright trashy!

Cup-o-peep: I thought this was a super cute idea (more for the presentation then anything-but in my line of work presentation is key). Peep marshmallows in hot chocolate on Easter morning. Oh Dee Doh earns major points in my book for this cute number. And to transcend generations, add a peep to coffee for the grown-ups. Add some Bailey's in the coffee and I might even enjoy the peep-mallows with you!

Peeps! the book (it's almost like a bad off-broadway title: Peeps! The Musical!-although after what I found on the internet with these things, I wouldn't be surprised if it existed) gives you more fun food ideas to incorporate your peeps into. When I looked in the book, the Peeps and their friends were more of a garnish, but still I give the author some creative points. I mean, she made an entire book of these guys-and in a cute, fun and family friendly way. It would make a cute novelty gift for a hostess or party-loving friend at your next spring get together-or anyone obsessed with incorporating peeps into e v e r y t h i n g.

Peep-o-matic: Yes, there really is a make-your-own-peep machine. I guess it's only fitting that it's made by Wham-O. I'm still trying to figure out why there's a coupon for more Peeps on the box if you're already making your own . . . Either way, you too could create your very own assortment of REAL (see box) peepy friends for only $26! Additional peep ingredient kits not included.

The Peep Show: Not that I would encourage anyone to create things like this in their spare time, but you have to admit it is pretty funny!

And lastly: Peep jousting. My brother and I discovered this when we were young and it's been a fun activity ever since-although made even better with the inclusion of different colors (we started with yellow vs yellow when we were kids, made it difficult to keep track of which was which when the microwave was spinning). I would recommend putting your peeps onto a paper plate for easy disposal as the peep's marshmallowy insides get a bit difficult to deal with after cooking.

Have any additional peep-y activities that are part of your own Easter traditions? Feel free to comment! I'd love to hear what you do!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Real Weddings: Jessica and Hunter via Amorology

I came across this gorgeous wedding via Amorology's blog. It makes me sigh, and smile, and feel all fuzzy all at once. I had to share!

Something about mixing pale pinks and peach's with a nice smoky gray is so Victorian-chic to me . . .I think it's lovely.

I heart old umbrellas!!

Love this shot-love the mis-matched umbrellas with the formality of the bride and her maids. It's a very fun, but beautiful photo.

This is the part where I usually feel compelled to share the vendors with you, but this shindig took place in California... I do urge you to check out Amorology's blog though. Seriously, I could gaze at the eye candy that's posted there for hours! And check out more pics from this wedding-this event is a fantastic example of romantic elegance and the final result is gorgeous!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stealing the Spotlight

I'm stealing the Vendor Spotlight post today to share some new goodies available to brides from BB Jean Events!

As brides make requests, BB Jean Events has been expanding its inventory to include various rental items for events. They're available to anyone BUT BB Jean brides always get first dibs and a discounted rate.

This month we've added hanging tealight holders. These awesome little guys can be used with tealights, colored LED tealights or even have flower blooms placed inside. They're perfect for decorating your reception space or a wedding arch and look even better when they're clustered together above tables. They're currently available to rent for $2.50 each and make a very cool alternative to paper lanterns.
Intersted in renting? Contact us and we'll let you know availability!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Freebie Friday Revealed!

Congrats to my anonymous commentator who wrote:

Relax, enjoy the day and have fun because it will be over in a few moments!

Using the random number generator at, this bride has won a super cute bridal scrap book with embellishments!

Thanks for all of the great comments! Stay tuned for our next giveaway of the month in just a few weeks!

Eco Friendly Favors

Trying to find eco friendly favors? And not just ones through big favor companies online that list the items as "green" (with the little quotes and all) but ACTUAL earth friendly favors?

Many products that are being offered from wedding companies as green favors, aren't as green as they're saying. And to sift through the advertising, simply as yourself a few questions:

1. how close is the item to me (local means supporting your community and less polution from shipping), 2. Is it organic, 3. What is it packaged in.

Why is this important? When I searched a popular, nationwide favor company for green favors, I inquired with customer service about a particular product made from bamboo. I found out it was packaged in several different layers of material, the bamboo wasn't organic, and it was being shipped from the east coast. The eco-friendly benefits of that product were starting to look not so green after that.

For your own green favors, here's a few of my favorite items and locations to hunt down your own:

1. Soap. Everybody uses it (or SHOULD be using it) so it's useful, and can be molded into a shape befitting of your wedding. The heart below is from Lavendar Wind Farm in Coupeville, WA who use organic lavendar and goat's milk in their guest soaps. 2. Famer's Markets. Why order honey from a nationwide favor company and pay way too much on shipping when you can get it from your local farmers market (I mean, you could even MEET the bees the honey is coming from if you wanted!)? You can find great prices and quality products at these places and they make a fun and gourmet-esque gift for your guests. If you don't like honey, consider other items that may be offered like flowers, lavendar, cheeses or fresh berries.

3. Speaking of bees, try beeswax candles. Candles have long since been a popular favor option but cheap ones can have lead in the wick and be made with parafin wax overseas. Beeswax is all natural, clean burning and most have cotton wicks. This one is in a cute travel tin but the company making them (Beehive Candles, Maple Falls WA) also offers taper candles, votives, or aromatherapy options.

4. Etsy features handmade items and you can choose to shop locally. When I searched Bellingham, WA I was shown plenty of options from sweaters and furniture to small toys, soaps and lotions. If you find an item you like, make sure to check with the seller first to see if they can accommodate your order and that you give them plenty of time-a little bit of work, but worth it for the handmade goodies your guests will get!!
5. Tree favors. provides a variety of tree seeds and seedlings in different types of packaging. Some plastic tubes the trees are shipped in can even be converted to bird feeders.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Friday: Get Your Bridesmaids to Love You By Loving Them!

Another fabulous Friday in our midst! And once again I have a picture posted of some AMAZING bridesmaid gowns! They make me chuckle :) I LOVE the matching bow in everyone's hair!!

Along with our wonderful illustration for today's post, I have a few words of wisdom when working with your maids.
#1 (See above pic) NEVER do this to your girlfriends! Real friends don't let their friends leave the house with this on! And for brides intimated by their hot girlfriends: don't punish your friends for your insecurity by choosing icky bridesmaid gowns and forcing your friends to wear them (and you brides know who you are!). You'll be in a big white gown, trust me, everyone will have their eyes on you

#2 Brides please remember this is YOUR wedding and not your bridesmaids' wedding. They all most likely have jobs, families, friends and other activities other then your wedding. Be kind and considerate when you ask them for help and keep things reasonable. Having them there for your gown shopping=acceptable, forcing them go to the mall with you because you forgot to get new socks=unacceptable.

#3 "Thank you" goes a long way. Use it often on your maids. Make sure they know how much you appreciate their help. They're spending a lot of time, money and energy to make things happen for you.

#4 Be budget conscious for your friends. Some bridesmaids may be ok spending hundreds of dollars on a dress they'll only wear once. Most, however will not. Remember that apart from their dress and shoes, they may have to pay for hair and makeup, hotel accommodations, bachelorette party activities, a wedding gift and possibly even shower gifts.

#5 Have fun! Weddings are supposed to be a joyous occasion so make sure that not every time you gather is work and be sure to have some fun friend time. It gives you all an opportunity to remind yourself why you're all friends in the first place.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wedding How-to: Destressing for the Big Day!

If you aren't already following a health regime for your wedding, now may be a good time to start. Regardless of whether or not you want to lose weight for your wedding, excercise and eating right are essential for a healthy lifestyle (before AND after the wedding) and are one of the easiest ways to help your stress levels.

If you aren't already working out regularily, simply look at exercise as a wedding free time to unwind. Cardio at the gym is fine, but you can also mix it up by going for a run in the park, go for a bike ride, or take a fitness class with your bridesmaids-anything for you to be active and to get those endorphins pumping!

Also take a close look at your diet. What we eat directly affects our physical well being AND mental well being. Choosing highly nutritious foods can help you stay mentally alert and energized. Nix the caffeine (if you can) and keep sugars low to avoid crashing throughout your day. Eat breakfast to give your body a healthful start and keep snacks on hand. I personally always have almonds in my purse or car and I've had many moments when I'm so glad they're there!

Try meditating. Find a clean and quiet space in your home-away from the TV, the cat and dog and any other distratctions-and breathe and relax. Couple this with stretching and you have a pleasant way to end your day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Real Weddings: Erin & Steve

I got in contact with Erin after discovering her amazing DIY wedding invitations online last month. When I got her permission to post her creation, I asked her to let me know how her wedding turned out because I was certain if it was planned as creatively and detailed as the invites, it was sure to be amazing. I was right. Here are just a sampling of the fabulous pictures taken by Shelby and Rich at 927 Photography.

Erin, thank you for letting me share a few pics from your gorgeous wedding! And thanks for sharing that small world moment with me: if you're friends with K, who is an amazing woman herself for being able to date Ben, then you're a pretty fabulous person in my book! My sincerest congratulations to you and your new husband and best wishes for an amazing future together!