Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Destination Glitter Canvas

My sister was blessed to travel Europe for seven months earlier this year. During this time, her boyfriend took a trip to see her while she was in Dublin for her birthday. They had their first official date while they were there! Something straight out of a storybook, right?!

After we visited her several months later in Ireland, I was dying for an excuse to do a few Ireland-related crafts. I decided to make a little memento for their first date! Thankfully, they are both great sports when it comes to my obnoxious obsession with gold glitter. But who doesn't think of a pot of gold when you think of Ireland?!

This canvas would make an inexpensive, quick gift or a pretty wall hanging in your own home! You could make one for a trip you took, your hometown or a friend who just moved to a different city. Happy crafting!!

Glitter Destination Canvas

- Canvas
- Acrylic paint
- ModPodge
- Glitter
- Finishing spray
- Print out of country or state
- Heart sticker or cut out
- Scissors
- Tape
- Paint brushes

1. Begin by painting the canvas. I decided to use a dark green as my base color. Let paint dry before following the next steps.

2. Cut the print out so that you have a full outline of the country or state. If needed, tape the paper in place.

3. Place the heart sticker or heart paper cutout in place. I ended up using a small piece of tape to keep the heart in place.

4. Begin to spread the ModPodge generously on the canvas using a paint brush or sponge. You must do this fairly quickly so that your paper does not get too soggy and end up ripping off.

5. Once you have applied the glue, sprinkle the glitter onto the canvas. Make note of where your heart is placed so that you can locate it again once the glue dries.

6. Carefully dump or brush off the access glitter on the paper edges of your print out. Then slowly remove the printout itself. 

7. I used a toothpick to remove any glitter that was sticking to the canvas outside of the country outline.

8. Once the glue had dried, I used a toothpick to gently remove the heart paper over the Dublin area.

9. Spray the canvas with glossy finishing spray to keep the glitter from falling off the canvas and to give the heart area a little bit of shine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

7C's of Wedding Desserts

Cake _ Cupcakes _ Cheesecake _ Cakepops _ Candy _ iceCream _ Cookies


"Love is Sweet"


The best part of eating at a wedding ... the dessert.  It's always one of my favorite parts of a wedding.

 Main desserts for weddings fall into these categories.  I never realized until writing this blog post that all the BIG desserts served at weddings start with the letter C!  How crazy?! Something about tasty desserts and the letter C just go hand in hand.

Here is a compiled list of the main dessert options to serve at your wedding.  I've been lucky enough to have tasted all these scrumptious desserts (except an ice cream sundae bar, but I figure I still got quite a few weddings in my future)!  When picking your dessert consider whether you want to stick with the traditional wedding cake or showcase one of the other many options out there.  And hopefully these photos will give you some inspiration to put your own flair into a wedding dessert.

As for other delectable favorites to serve alongside your main wedding dessert see my post on how to Personalize Your Wedding: Drinks and Desserts.  Your guests will surely be pleased with all these ideas of tasty morsels and creatively named wedding drinks.



Whether it's the main dessert, or just a cutting cake for the couple, there's a reason it's tradition!

Here's a peek at some of the fantastic cakes from the weddings of friends and family. Aren't they all beautiful and so unique?! The creativity of cake decorating is amazing, from fondant flowers to the real deal, from sparkly bling to simplicity, to monograms on or off the cake, to wedding color ribbon or piping, it's all in the detail! I just can't get enough of these cakes, and the same can be said for many of the guests. So in the famous words of another Marie, "Let them eat cake!"



What's great about cupcakes is your ability to choose a multitude of flavors beyond the one or two choices a cake forces upon you. With ganache, flavored icings, and whip creams you can serve quite an assortment of deliciousness with cupcakes. Another benefit, cuts down on serving time too and no cake cutting fee!

Kate Wenzel Photography


Candy Bar

Whenever there is candy at a wedding, you can be assured I'm there!  I love candy!  I thought a candy bar was a fun snackable treat option for guests at our reception until the main dessert is served.

Our cousin Apryl also had a candy bar at her wedding, which they made as their main dessert.

Lisa's brother and sister-in-law/best friend Mary had a candy bar featured at their wedding, which she helped with.  It's super adorable with the sorted colored candy, you gotta check out Lisa's M&M blog post.

Apryl Rose Photography

Cake pops

Bellagala Photography



Lisa's wedding featured a Cookie Bar , a new twist on the average wedding dessert.  In fact, I recently learned from a graduate student friend from Dave's college in Ohio, that in the western part of Pennsylvania it's tradition for the family and friends to bake cookies for weddings. I think it's a great way for the family to all contribute to the special day, and all that effort leads to an incredibly impressive dessert table.

Items not pictured Cheesecake nor Ice-Cream, but were big hits when served at the weddings.

More Ways to Personalize:
Little Wedding Details  
Little Wedding Details: Part 2
Sand Unity Ceremony
Our Bride and Bridesmaid Bouquets
 Personalize Your Wedding: with Photos
Personalize Your Wedding: Guest Favors

Monday, September 7, 2015

Italian Tortelini Pasta Salad

A pasta salad is the perfect Labor Day meal to make.  This salad reminds me of one last ho-ray for summer before we transition to soups and heartier fall meals.  I tailored the meal to suit my family's own tastes (which is why you don't see green pepper or olives pictured).  And in the amount of time it took the tortellini to cook and cool, you can prepare the other ingredients. Extra bonus, it made great leftover lunch meals.

16 oz cheese filled tortellini
8 oz provolone or mozzarella, cubed
1 tomato coarsely chopped
1/2 small green pepper, cut in thin stripes
1/2 cup sliced ripe pitted olives, drained
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pepperoni minis - desired amount


1. Add tortellini and a pinch of salt to boiling water. Boil 14-16 minutes. Stir occasionally. Drain. Rinse pasta with cold water. Drain.

2. Transfer chilled tortellini to a serving bowl. Add cubed cheese, tomatoes, olives, pepper, green onions and pepperoni.  Pour dressing over the mixture.

3. Toss gently. Add Parmesan cheese and toss again.

Other great salads to whet your summer appetite:
Avocado Corn Salad
Watermelon Arugula Salad 
Broccoli Salad 
Pioneer Pasta Salad
Buffalo Chicken Salad

Check out our Market Inspirations for Summer

Friday, September 4, 2015

Night with Julia Child

Every girl needs a girls night.  Having the chance to catch up with your favorite females is exactly what we ladies need from time to time.  I'm always looking for something that's fun, cheap and allows quality time.  If you like cooking, movies, and have a fondness for Julia Child this idea's for you.

The movie, Julie and Julia is a favorite of mine and loved by me and my college roommates.  It made the perfect ladies night movie.  But to extend this beyond just a typical movie night, you can mix in a Julia Child recipe.  I chose to use her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my recipe choice.  Pick an easy recipe or maybe a more challenging one since you got cooking partners to back you up.  Then you can sit down and enjoy your success while watching the movie.

The cookbook itself is a worthwhile read.  The details on how to cook a dish is incredible.  Most of the french dishes are ones beyond my palate.  But there is one section of the book just devoted to sauces! Considering that I'm weak in my sauce knowledge  I thought this was one of the most useful sections.  Once you master sauces the options on what to cook with opens your dinner possibilities.  Can't wait to try them out. 

One Julia Child recipe that shows up in the movie and seems to be a popular favorite from her cookbook is beef bourguignon or beef burgundy.  This probably wouldn't be the one to do for a girls night, but other shorter dishes or tasty desserts like her creme brulee or mousse may be just the ticket.

Beef Bourguignon
(check out the full recipe in Julia Child's book)