Dec 31, 2009

Making the Most of Your Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is an art - the art of capturing the silhouette your bodies make in a warm first dance embrace, but also your hands shaking and your heart pounding when he offers his hand-written vows about love everlasting. A great photographer should be unobtrusive, and let the day's events unfold like a lotus blossom on a warm summer day. Here are my favorite wedding photos - found on Pinterest that capture a magical moment in time when two hearts became one.


Dec 22, 2009

1000 Origami Cranes

A young woman patiently folding 1,000 origami cranes before her wedding day is taking part in an ancient Japanese wedding tradition called sembazuru. The person who invests the time and energy into a thousand hand-folded origami cranes is believed to be granted one wish by the Gods. What should it be - long life, six figure salary, a leading actress Academy Award? The crane is thought to be a holy creature, one that lives for one thousand years. That's why 1,000 paper cranes are made, one for each year. They are also believed to mate for life. Just like humans, longing to find a lifetime of happiness with the one we love best.

Dec 9, 2009

Bridal Shower Trifle Recipes

Is there anyone from Los Angeles to Little Rock who doesn't love the look and taste of homemade trifle? Who needs a store-bought cake when, with a little layering know-how you can take frozen pound cake, instant pudding, fresh fruit and Cool Whip, and make something sweet and sensational. Sugar free instant pudding and reduced fat whipped topping will make this a more low calorie dessert. A beautiful glass trifle bowl will be the smartest and cheapest investment in entertaining you ever make! Easy and quick, these delicious trifle recipes look as great as they taste and will easily serve 16 to 20 of your well-loved female family and friends.

Delicious Pumpkin Trifle

  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) gingerbread cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups cold fat-free milk
  • 4 packages (1 ounce each) instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) whipped topping, thawed
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water and egg, beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. When completely cooled, crumble the cake. Set aside 1/4 cup crumbs for garnish. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well blended in a trifle bowl or 3-1/2-qt. glass serving bowl, layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half of the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved cake crumbs. Refrigerate. 

Heavenly Fruit Trifle

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 2 containers of raspberry yogurt (6 or 8 ounce)
  • 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 6 oz. can of sliced peaches in juice (not heavy syrup)
  • sliced fruit - strawberries, kiwi, peaches and blueberries in middle and on top
Cut angel food cake into 1-inch pieces. Reserve a couple slices of the peaches, and dice the rest. Combine the diced peaches, cool whip and yogurt in medium bowl. In a trifle bowl (or bowl that has a flat bottom), put one layer of the angel food cake down, then layer about 1/3 of the yogurt/cool whip/peach mixture, slightly pressing down on the angel food cake. Repeat: layer of angel food cake and yogurt mixture. Then put a layer of fruit - sliced strawberries and/or kiwis. Then layer with angel food cake followed by the remaining yogurt mixture. Decorate the top with sliced fruit, including the sliced peaches you saved. Refrigerate for a couple hours - it is best when it's had time to set.

Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

  • 2-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1/3 cup instant coffee granules
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 2 loaves (10-3/4 ounces each) frozen pound cake, thawed and cubed
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until dissolved; remove 1 cup and set aside. Add pudding mixes to the remaining milk mixture; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Place a third of the cake cubes in a 4-qt. serving or trifle bowl. Layer with a third of the reserved milk mixture and pudding mixture and a fourth of the grated chocolate. Repeat layers twice. Garnish with remaining whipped topping and chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

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Dec 3, 2009

Homemade Fortune Cookie Favors

Fortune cookie wedding favors - how seriously do we take these popular words of wealth and wisdom? Approximately 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year, and the vast majority of them ready to be served at your favorite Chinese restaurant here in the United States. Americans love good news, especially if it sounds like “You will inherit a large sum of money.” And how about the one that would have come in handy during my teenaged years, "Reach for the high apples (boys) first you can get the low ones any time." You may not believe the magic in these lovely little messages but I've never seen one left unopened. Here's a helpful tutorial on how to make your own fortune cookies.

Fortune Cookie Messages

A warm smile is testimony of a generous nature.

A secret admirer will soon send you a sign of affection.

Love asks me no questions, and gives me endless support. Shakespeare

In the end there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Love is for the lucky and the brave.

If you continually give, you will continually have.

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.

The one you love is closer than you think.

Love always and deeply.

Your heart will always make itself known through your words.

Love begets love.