Rustic Wedding

Last spring we were the event coordinators for a wedding here on the central coast in Templeton California!  Summer and I helped the bride and groom design, create flower arrangements and coordinate the big day.  Here are some pictures we hope you enjoy.

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The bride loved succulents and had a picture of a bridal bouquet that she loved.  We got our inspiration from there and expanded.  An urn with a large bouquet was on each side of the door at the front of the aisle.

The boutonnieres and corsages were designed with succulents grown by the bride several months before the wedding, and the matron of honor carried a bouquet similar to the bride’s.

ImageThe bride walked down an aisle covered with rose petals.  The ceremony was in front of the hacienda under the trees.  The guests sat in a semicircle around the bride and groom.

ImageThe reception was in the back of the Hacienda overlooking the hills.  Cocktail tables with simple centerpieces were scattered around the patio.  We took three wine bottles, wrapped them with lace and green jute and filled them with roses and some fill.

ImageAppetizers and desserts were served after the wedding.  Brownies, cookies and wedding cake decorated the table under a pergola.  A chandelier hung over the table. Tara Stumph did a fabulous job with appetizers.  It was nothing short of spectacular!  Hostess du Jour designed the dessert buffet.

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The cake was a work of art done by Amanda Craner.  The lace from the flower arrangements and succulents from the garden were used to decorate and the cake was displayed on the dessert table.  Flowers were arranged by Hostess du Jour.  Photos were taken by Summer Schmitz.  And the special moments were capture by Ryan Lee Films.

Thank you Jason and Lina for allowing us to be a part of your wedding.  It was so beautiful.  You both did a great job planning and designing your day.  It was a beautiful reflection of you both.  We wish you a lifetime of happiness and beauty.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent – Front or Top Load

I got this recipe from a friend who got it from a friend who got it from a friend…and so on and so on.  I have no idea where this originated or I would give credit where credit was due.  However, I do love this recipe, and wanted to share it with all of you.  I found all the ingredients on the same shelf at Walmart for a total of $8.

Ingredients / Supplies
• 4  Cups – hot tap water
•  1  Fels-Naptha soap bar (or Ivory soap bar)
•  1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (make sure its washing soda not regular baking soda)
•  ½ Cup Borax
•  5-gallon bucket

Directions
•  Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.


•  Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.


•  Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

Get a little creative with your storage containers.

•  Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
•  Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Top Load Machine – 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines – ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Snail Cake

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Snail Cake

This is the snail cake I made for my son’s fourth birthday. I made two six inch round cakes and stuck them together. Then I used pieces of a rectangle cake for the head and tail. Marshmallows on top of two broken off skewers for the eyes and stalks.

Baby Shower

The latest event planned by Hostess Du Jour was an evening baby shower in gray and yellow.

Flowers were done by Connie Sparks and Hostess Du Jour.  Thanks Connie for all your help!

Old windows were bolted together and staked into the ground.  Pictures of the parents to be as babies were nailed to the windows.  Comfy chairs for the parents to sit in while opening presents added to the family room feel.

Dinner for the event was served after 45 minutes of hourdorves.  The food was catered by Auten Boys BBQ and Catering.  Dave’s food, as always, was fabulous.  We had grilled chicken breast, asparagus spears and shrimp topped with hollandaise sauce.  The entrée was served with salad and rice pilaf.  If you have an event to cater, Dave is a great choice!  Favors were chocolate truffles in tiny gift boxes placed at each person’s plate. Toasts were made by the grandparents to be, and there might have been a few tears in the touching moments.

The cakes were BEAUTIFUL, not to mention delicious.  The cakes were courtesy of Amanda Craner.  Chocolate (she does the best chocolate around), carrot cake and a lavender cake with lemon curd.  Absolutely divine!  Amanda is amazing.

Amy Wellenkamp photographers took pictures of the new parents to be and created a “belly book” for everyone at the shower to sign.  Everything Amy touches turns to gold.  The book was a work of art.  She is one of the most talented photographers in the area.  Thanks, Amy!

This was such a fun event to plan.  Thanks to all who helped.  We could not do these parties without all of you!

Kids Playroom


Summer and I took a break from our party planning and decided to design a new playroom for my boys.  We brainstormed all sorts of ideas and drew up some plans.  This is what we came up with!!

As you walk in the door, you see the wall with the window.  I ordered fabric online and made curtains.  Summer drew silhouettes of some of the boys favorite toys and I painted them on a canvas.

Table and chairs that I have collected over the past year were spray painted in several different colors.

The wall to the right has the closet on it.  The inside of the closet is painted orange and baskets ordered from Land of Nod.  Closet doors are removed.  Cork squares are hung on the wall to hold the boy’s work.  We purchased the squares at Michael’s.  They were thicker than the ones we found online.

The wall on the left has cubbies that Ryan made.  You can find them ready to assemble at Home Depot, but they don’t fit the baskets from Land of Nod.  The other  cubbies are made for baskets from Martha Stewart that are in pastels.  I painted an armoire white that I already had.  This houses the movies and TV.  I bought a large canvas for each boy and let them have at it.  They are hung over the cubbies.  The clock was purchased from Target.



Labels for the basket are made from name tags and clips from Office Max.  I found images of each of the toys online and pasted them into a document with the names.

The door wall is painted green with a sofa sleeper from IKEA.  The bed is really comfortable with an egg crate on top.  The bed works like a futon, but the mattress is actually in two pieces so it doesn’t get folded and have a big bump down the middle.  No crazy bar down the middle like regular sofa beds, and the mattress doesn’t slide down like a futon.  It comes in several different colors.

The boys love it and they have lots of space to play.  It was fun to design and it has a fun feel!  Thanks Summer!  Back to party planning soon!

A Worthy Cause…

I was reading an article in Self magazine from the Dec ’08 issue about volunteering and it got me thinking about where I spend my time. There’s nothing more rewarding than giving of yourself to a worthy cause.  Find what you love to do and donate your time to an organization that is doing the same thing. Laurene and I love Brighten A Corner.

that's me working the power tools. I love it!

Brighten A Corner (BAC) is a ministry designed to help people who face extraordinary or overwhelming circumstances in practical and tangible ways.  Much like the Extreme Home Makeover show, BAC goes into homes of people who have gone through a great deal of strife and they do a little remodeling, re-organizing, and redecorating.  They are a local ministry that operates on donations and volunteers.  If you’re looking to donate some time or finances we’d encourage you to check out Brighten A Corner.

In that article from Self magazine there was a small section with tips on “How to be a Good Giver,” here’s what it said:

1. TREAT VOLUNTEERING LIKE A JOB. You may not be paid, but you’re still obligated to arrive when you say you will and be friendly and professional.
2. BE COURTEOUS. Give a heads-up of at least two days if you need to cancel.
3. TAILOR YOUR COMMITMENT to your schedule. If you life is unpredictable, sign up for a one-day-only project so you don’t let anyone down.
4. ALLOW TIME to get into the habit. Volunteering is like starting a workout program; it takes a while to find your groove. If you’re not comfortable after a few tries somewhere, gracefully bail and find a better fit.

TO FIND OUT MORE INFO ON BRIGHTEN A CORNER OR TO DONATE FINANCES TO THEIR NEXT PROJECT, PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE: BRIGHTENACORNER.COM Continue reading