Miss Me?

1 Feb

Miss me? You can find me here:: www.theundomesticbride.com

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Show Them Some Love: Wedding Welcome Bags

17 Sep

If you are planning to tie the knot in a tropical destination or just have a lot of out-of-town guests traveling to attend your wedding, providing a welcome bag is a thoughtful gesture to make your guests feel appreciated.

The perfect gift bag doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, by providing a few key essentials like water, snacks,  aspirin and area maps, you’ll not only make your guests feel comfortable but also let them know your thankful they made the trip.  And who doesn’t like a bag of treats!

To create a bag you’ll guests will remember here are a few tips and websites to get you started.

In the Bag: From reusable tote bags to collapsible boxes, you can house your goodies in whatever you please and with so many options to choose from you can find the perfect bag to fit your budget.  Try the Oriental Trading Company,Paper MartThe Knot and Nashville Wraps.

 

Welcome Bag
Welcome Bag

 

The Goods: Select a few of your favorite  things and add in a few essentials to create the perfect swag bag.  If you are planning a local wedding, try a few Florida favorites like fresh oranges, key lime candies, and sun screen! Looking for something a little more gourmet? Try Truffle Truffle, an artisan chocolates & confections company or Garrett Popcorn, a Chicago based Popcorn Company.  You can score some free maps from your local chamber of commerce or you can create your own map withWeddingMapper.com.  An itinerary of wedding events and a list area hot spots and attractions is also a great idea.

A Note to Say Thanks! No matter what you choose to put inside your welcome bags the most important thing is a thank you note. By adding a simple note of gratitude, you’ll not only make your guests feel welcome but you’ll also have the opportunity to thank them one more time for sharing in your special day.

Not sure if welcome bags are within your budget? No problem, try this DIY hanging welcome packet idea from Martha Stewart Weddings. You can follow the template or get creative and create your own work of art.

{image source}

Have a Seat

16 Sep

I am nowhere near creating a seating chart, but from what I’ve heard, it’s one of the most tedious tasks a bride and groom have to endure and making sure guests mesh well together can take hours of deliberation. With only one opportunity to get it right, designing a seating chart that pleases everyone is worth all the extra time and aggravation it takes to create.

If your RSPV’s are flooding in and you are ready to conquer the chart, before you start writing down names and table numbers, visualize your venue! Creating a floor plan of your space will allow you to picture where everything is set up. From the dance floor to the DJ and speakers, being able to visualize will help you seat the older crowd in a quieter part of the room and the party animal’s right where they belong – close to the dance floor! If you need assistance or want to check out a seating chart template check outWedding Wire or Wedding Mapper for help.

Figuring out where to seat your family at your reception can become a task within itself. To makes sure your family is not seated where you know they’ll loathe or next to a family member or friend you know they hate, start with your closest relatives and bridal party first, and then fill the gaps with guests that have similar personalities. Try not to make your single or married friends feel like they have the plaque by seating them all at one table instead mix them up and seat them where you know they’ll feel comfortable and motivated to mingle. It’s also a good idea to keep one table empty so vendors and any unexpected guests can sit and enjoy the night.  For more seating etiquette suggestions check out Martha Stewart Weddings.

Even though seating charts may seem insignificant, having a plan will keep everything running smoothly. Have you ever attended an event with open seating?  It can get messy. If you’re looking to simplify the task, assign tables for your guests and allow them to choose where they want to sit at that particular table.  Check with your catering manager first if you decide to go this route, this might work best if you are serving only one entrée during the reception.

When you finally figure out where to seat everyone, the next step is to determine how to get them there. Here are a few unique ideas on how to guide your guests to their tables.

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

28 Apr

At around 10:30pm I had the sudden urge to bake chocolate chip cookies.  As someone who doesn’t eat sweets that much this venture was out of the ordinary but well received. I searched for a recipe online and came across a recipe that included applesauce. Thank heavens for food blogs!

Not being a baker at all, I of course messed up a few steps, but still managed to create something edible.

CHOCOLATE CHIP APPLE SAUCE COOKIES
{adapted from a recipe found on Tastes Better With Friends}

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • a splash of vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar and vanilla. Add applesauce.
  3. Sift flour with baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to applesauce mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Add mini chocolate chips  and stir until combined.
  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet, spacing the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

enjoy!

Marshmallows Make Everything Better…

24 Apr

{Recipe}

…And Many More

9 Mar

Happy Birthday Starbucks!

Starbucks is celebrating four decades in business by rolling out a new look, artfully crafted beverages, and the latest dessert trend, cake pops. If you have been living under a rock, cake pops are tiny balls of cake dipped in frosting and covered in sprinkles. The amazing little creations have become an instant sensation and can be seen artfully displayed on blogs like Bakerella.  To celebrate their milestone, Starbucks will be offering a complimentary samples of the miniature dessert Thursday, March 10th to Saturday, March 12th from 2-5pm with the purchase of a beverage.

Starbucks will also introduce Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Mini Cupcakes, and Sweet Squares.

I cannot wait to try the cake pops out tomorrow. Check back soon for my review.

In the meantime, here is a recipe from the great Bakerella. You can also check out this clip from her appearance on the Martha Stewart show.

Cake Pops
{recipe from Bakerella}
Makes about 50

Ingredients:
• 9-by-13-inch Chocolate Cake for Cupcake Pops
2 cups Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
1 package chocolate coating bark
1 package white coating bark or pink candy melts
Sprinkles, for garnish
Candy-coated chocolates, such as M&M’s, for garnish

Directions
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Trim about 1/2 inch from the perimeter of the cake. Working in batches, crumble cake into the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl and add frosting; blend together using the back of a spoon, until well combined, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Roll mixture into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with parchment-paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours or to a freezer for about 10 minutes.
3. Begin to shape balls into cupcakes by rolling balls first into logs. Fit logs into a 1 1/4-by-3/4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push cake mixture into the cutter halfway so that some of the cake mixture extends beyond the top of the cutter. Shape extended cake mixture into a cupcake-shaped top. Push cake from cutter to remove. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer until chilled, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Remove cupcakes from freezer and dip the bottom of each cupcake into the chocolate; transfer, bottom-side up, to prepared baking sheet. To make lollipops, insert a lollipop stick into the bottom of each cupcake. Let chocolate set, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Melt white chocolate or pink candy melts in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate and place right-side up on prepared baking sheet or stick lollipop sticks into a Styrofoam square. Place a candy-coated chocolate in the center of each and top with sprinkles. Let dry completely.

enjoy!

Simple and Delicious-Vegetable Baked Ziti

9 Mar

The other day a friend told me that she had no time to go the gym because she had to make dinner for her husband.  Understandably, working a nine to five job and cooking can be time consuming, but with a little imagination and careful planning,  you can do it all.

I made this recipe after spending 30 wonderful minutes on the treadmill. I used whatever vegetables I had in the refrigerator, washed and chopped them in a matter of 10 minutes, threw everything in one skillet, and waved my magic wand… Cleanup was a breeze and dinner was delicious and healthy. Here is a similar recipe below.


 

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1-2  cups  chopped green, yellow, or red bell pepper- be adventurous and use more than one kind
  • 1  cup  fresh broccoli, frozen spinach or anything else your heart desires
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped or use garlic powder to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil or 1  teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3  cups  hot cooked ziti (about 2 1/4 cups uncooked short tube-shaped pasta)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers, and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, black pepper, add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick.

In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray add pasta, vegetables and sauce. Dollop with ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella. Stir together, cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned if desired.

Note: To make ahead, assemble casserole as directed. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, and bake as directed.