Getting Married: 27 Weeks – Thankful

This was my first year having two places to go to for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but everything went very smoothly. The only thing I regret was that I skimped out on turkey for fear of over-eating at either place, but Mom and I had got a roast, so we made up for that.

I’m going to apologize now that I have no pictures to accompany this post. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. No fear. The next post will have plenty of photos for you to enjoy.

We started the day with sleeping in. This was glorious, or would have been much more glorious had I been able to sleep in passed 8 am. Mom used to complain about not being able to sleep in after some time, and I would balk at her. I completely understand now. Darn body clock. I had baked my goodies for the meals the night before, so I was free to lounge around in the morning, play Lego Lord of the Rings on our Wii, until we headed out to my sister’s for lunch.

We’ve been having Thanksgiving lunch at either my mom’s place or my sister’s house for several years now. It’s a great time, and very low-key. And when we’re all tired of each other, we pack up leftovers and head to our respective homes to munch on turkey sandwiches for the rest of the evening – usually put up the tree, watch Christmas movies, get into the spirit of the next holiday.

This year was a bit different since I have a fiance and his family to include. Late afternoon, I hopped in my car and drove on up to Matt’s parents’ house for some more grubbing. It’s been great to be able to spend more time with Matt’s family and to get to know them. My biggest concern was that I don’t really know what everyone’s regular “dish” is. At our family Thanksgiving, we have it pretty well established who brings what. But this is a new group of people. I decided to play it safe this year and bring cornbread and the World Famous chocolate chip cookies. Those went over famously (haha!) but the cornbread didn’t do so well. I think I’m going to try to perfect a twice-baked potatoes recipe and make that my regular dish. I told Matt, and he loves potatoes, so of course he was on board.

Throughout the day, I updated my Facebook status with things I am thankful for. Here they are:

  • I’m thankful for brekkie. It’s my favorite meal of the day. I will frequently have it for lunch and for dinner…and sometimes elevensies, 2nd breakfast, afternoon tea, or a midnight snack (but I’ve been really good about not eating anything late in the day.)
  • I’m thankful for coffee. Also for getting paid a day early, and for the overtime I accrued this pay period.
  • I am thankful for technology. For the internet and phones where I can keep track of all my friends and family scattered across the globe. It is such a blessing!
  • I’m thankful for games. I love playing sudoku, Farmville (yes….yes I do) and all the Lego games for our Nintendo Wii. Thanks to my cousin Tessa and her family for first introducing me to them while in Tokyo. You created a Lego Wii playing monster…and I’m totally talking about Mom and not myself *cough* *cough*
  • I am thankful for creativity and being able to make things. I love that God gave us His passion to create and grow. 🙂
  • I’m thankful for lazy mornings and the smell of things baking.
  • I’m thankful for my car. He’s such a good little machine.
  • I’m grateful for holiday lunches with my family that my car drives me to. They are few and far between.
  • Thankful for adding future in-laws to the holidays 🙂
  • I’m so thankful for an amazing man who I will get to call Hubby in just over 6 months. Love you so much Matt!

There are so many other things that I’m thankful for; I can’t even list them all. God has been so good to me this year (every year, but this year I feel the blessings especially well.) I am so thankful for my church family and the cherished memories with believers all over the globe. There have been so many people in my life who were there for a season and yet so valuable to me and my walk.

What are you particularly thankful for this year? What special time did you have this year for Thanksgiving?


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on

Getting Married: 28 Weeks – Cake: Not the Band, But They’re Cool Too

The last big, sorta expensive, thing we’ve needed to get booked is the wedding cake. I was able to go to the Bridalrama in Cincinnati (find more here about that) and sampled quite a few cakes. That is, by far, the most enjoyable part of the wedding planning we’ve had. Together, Matt and I scheduled tastings at two places in the area. We wanted something really nice where we could get a wide variety of flavors and make it unique to our style (well, probably more my style, but Matt was super-excited about the tasting part). For us, the emphasis is on taste, not so much on appearance, although I would love to have a pretty cake too. We also wanted something that wouldn’t cost double what my dress did. Yikes, there are some pricey places out there!

As mentioned in the Bridalrama post, we had quite a lot of praise for J Annette’s Cheesecakes, out of West Chester. We had tasted the traditional cake in cupcake form at a birthday party and I had tried the cheesecake at Bridalrama. I recently had some more cake from there at our friend Dannie’s baby shower. So incredibly good!

We were pretty excited about having a wedding cake with cheesecake, and the cost per slice was the same for traditional cake or cheesecake. We felt that the price for a cheesecake wedding cake was very reasonable. I loved that they do not opt for using fondant, and that with the cheesecake, they only use white frosting, which is perfect for what I have been wanting. I love my wedding colors, but I don’t want everything to be completely overwhelmed by them. We left that tasting knowing that we loved the taste, presentation and service. (Facebook)

We decided that regardless of whether we had found OUR cake place or not, we wanted to do more tastings! So, a dear friend, Kim, recommended we check out “L&L’s Simply Sweet” out of Franklin, OH. It’s right on my path to The House in Carlisle, so I thought it would be a pretty good idea. I called them up and scheduled a tasting. They also have a plethora of flavors and boasted of being committed to coming up with new flavors on request – I was just glad that they had something with mocha in it. All Matt really cared about was the chocolate stuff. 🙂

We tried out a few of the flavors and talked about design. The pricing is VERY reasonable and despite not having cheesecake to offer for wedding cake, I was very happy with the tasting. We love cheesecake, but if we really want to have cheesecake for our wedding, we’ll buy a small one and enjoy it ourselves. Goodness knows we probably won’t get to taste much of our own at the reception! I emailed them pictures of the cakes I wanted to pull elements from and of our topper and Lisa and Lori were both real excited about the cake! So, on Monday, Veteran’s Day, I stopped by and made the deposit for it. I can not be more thrilled! (Facebook)

While I don’t want to show you ALL of my plans for the cake, I will share with you some of the designs and such that I have seen and liked for inspiration. Here you go:

I’m just including this picture so you can see what a lovely combo red and yellow make. I do not like fondant and we will not be having it on our cake, but you can get an idea of the colors.

I like square cakes, mostly because I like clean edges and I also like how much more cake can be got out of square than round. I also like the staggered effect.

I’ve loved the spackled/rough frosting effect so much. It looks how I love to paint and gives it such great texture.

I saw this picture in a “30 Best Wedding Cakes” or some such website and I love the ruffled icing effect. I put this up on my Pinterest right away for inspiration.

I keep thinking that I can’t really remember what my friends’ cakes have looked like at their weddings. But I remember what they tasted like. I can remember my friends Audrey and Erik’s cake, but I think that was just because it was so super unique, and also the last wedding I’ve been to. I want people to remember our cake as being tasty and being exactly what they would have wanted. That taste is specific to each person, so I hope that what we’ve ordered will appeal to enough people. And if not, we definitely made the effort, so go buy your own. 😀

I kid, I kid…but if you do, would you mind going to one of these two lovely places?


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on

Getting Married: 43 Weeks – Bridalrama


This is a pretty long post this week, but I think you will find some good info. It’s basically a review, so stick around and, hopefully, you’ll find something you may enjoy!

Sunday afternoon (July 29, 2012) in Cincinnati was a celebrated biannual event called Bridalrama. I’m sure other cities have similar events, but I’ve been hearing about Bridalrama since I was young with a sort of hesitant curiosity. I’m not really a shopper. It wears me out and makes me a bit irritable if I’m not in the right mood of it. But, seeing as I am now engaged (and my sister scored 4 free tix to the event), I decided to go.

Most of my friends are married, but it’s still fun to go and scope out things wedding-related. My “Friend of the Bride”, Amy, and our friend Dannie, headed down to check out what goodies we could find. Since I already have the ceremony and reception venues, photographer, and caterer, I wasn’t interested in too many stands except cakes, flowers, and potentially, videographer.

As it was a Sunday afternoon, we met up after church and drove down to the city. I always park in the Race Street garage when I’m downtown. It looks like the kind of place one would find zombies or see in a B-movie horror flick, but the men who run it are extremely nice and keep great tabs on the vehicles in their care. I highly recommend them…but not too much because I want to have room to park when I’m down there.

We walked around the block to have lunch at It’s Just Crepes on 4th Street. This is one of those purely Cincinnati treats (only three locations with two downtown and one in nearby Crescent Springs, KY. It was my friends’ first time there and I wish I had taken a picture of our crepes. They have an amazing selection of fully customizable crepes, dessert and savory. I got a chicken Florentine with onions that was so hefty, I couldn’t finish the last 4th of it.

After lunch we headed to the Duke Energy Convention Center where Bridalrama was being held. There were so many vendors! I can’t even begin to tell you about them all, so if you want the complete list, you should go here. Like I said, I’m not a fan of shopping, but I’m also really good at ignoring salespeople who I don’t need to talk to. I was there to see what was available, talk to people I needed to talk with, and taste everything that could be tasted. I was not disappointed. We all had kind of wished we had gone a little lighter on our lunch, but we managed to have room for all the treats. I’m going to break down the vendors that stood out to me by category:


This is something I had not really considered as being something important. I like photos, but my friends were recommending a video of the wedding to get a different perspective of the day. Of the three videographers present, Spirit Video Productions, Inc. stood out to me the most. I spoke with one rep who went through the offers with me and I was pretty impressed. You can ask for two videographers, one to stay at the front of the church and one to stand on the balcony above the entrance door. They go through the pre-ceremony moments with the different groups of the bridal party, the ceremony and the reception. They then compiled it into a quick video of the highlights and put it on a USB for easy sharing. The cost was a bit more than we would be interested in paying, but they also do wedding/engagement photos and family portraits. They are also Christian-based, which is always wonderful. Go ahead and check them out!

Photo Booth

Photobooths has become all the rage lately. Not sure what one is? It’s where people have a cloth put up and silly props and then someone taking pictures of the guests in fun poses and such. Like this:

Oh, how I wish my Pappy could be here for a pose like that!

I’m not sold on the idea for ours, but I did chat with one vendor, Inlight Photography. I have a $100 off coupon here for them, and they seem to have a lot of fun stuff to offer, but it is still quite a bit out of our price range, especially after we are not holding back on the cost of our actual wedding photographer, who is amazing…see previous post. Also, there are four different ways they posted their website on their printed material and only one of them will actually take you to their site. They should pay a little more attention to detail.

Cakes and Desserts – the good stuff

The Bridalrama website only lists 4 cake vendors ad we apparently hit them all! They all tasted really good! For me, I’m more concerned with taste and texture than appearance. Yes, I want a cake that will look nice, but I don’t want the decorating to compromise the flavor. All of the samples we tried were super moist, no fondant and amazingly yummy!

Simply Delicious – tried their Champagne flavored cake with, I believe a raspberry filling, and it was to die for. They have a bunch more flavors, but you’ll have to call for an appointment, because they don’t seem to have a website. 859-359-5382


Sweets by LaDawn – I remember trying a sample from this stand, and I remember it being very good and talking with the woman about how I’m glad they don’t use fondant and why, but I can’t remember much else besides the cake pictured on the left. Matt’s only comment was, “That certainly isn’t traditional.” I thought he’d a bit more excited about it. 🙂 She has a lot of variety, so go check her out.



.Patricia’s – I had to make sure I remembered this woman’s stand. She had several samples out and I tried a couple. On man! Were they good. My favorite, though, was the caramel cake with apple filling. If I were having a fall wedding, I would HAVE to get that in one of the layers! She’s definitely in the running…I may have to do more “research” though. Her website.



J Annette’s Cheesecakes – Last, but definitely not least, is this little jewel. It was funny, this is the very first stand we went to. Dannie was telling us about this place in West Chester who has amazing cheesecakes, as we picked up one of the cheesecake samples. I’m always a sucker for cheesecake. I was getting ready to tell Dannie about the raspberry cupcake I had had on that Friday night, when we both looked up and saw that it was, in fact, the very same business both of us were talking about! Matt’s cousin was celebrating her birthday and her mom had picked up cupcakes from her favorite place, J Annette’s, and grabbed a postcard with info for me. There was a red and yellow decorated cake in the window and she thought I would just love it. What I loved was how the cupcake tasted! It’s hard to get a really moist, flavorful cupcake, but this woman nailed it! To hear Dannie confirm that she was top-notch at cheesecake as well really puts J Annette’s at the top of my list. Matt loved the chocolate cupcake he had that night too. Again, I think more research is necessary, though. 🙂 Her website.


Kreative Dezines Chair Cover Rental – I saw a friend from high school at Bridalrama with her own business. Lindsey rents out chair covers (I’m still not sure how I’m going to really decorate the reception hall) and decorates the tables. What she is able to do with strips of colorful fabric is so lovely! I would definitely recommend you check her out. Website.

One Little Band – The girls and I got a bit distracted at this booth. Julie has such a great selection of adorable accessories for weddings. I have spent quite a bit of time perusing her Etsy shop.

Have you used any of these vendors? Do you have any suggestions/recommendations?

We ended the afternoon at Bridalrama a little early. We still had an hour before the dress fashion show was scheduled, so we decided to walk down to the new Smale Park right on the Ohio River. We had quite a bit of snacking and lunch that we needed to walk off a bit before heading back home. Of course, we had to make a pit stop at Orange Leaf at The Banks. I finally got to taste their Wedding cake flavor. So very yummy!

Thanks for sticking around for this really long post! Hope you enjoyed!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on