When it comes to planning a wedding, or any event for that matter, it can get quite overwhelming at times. The best way that I have found to help combat wedding planning anxiety is to have a checklist to help guide you throughout your planning process. Even if you decide to hire a wedding planner, it is still a good idea to create/buy/download a wedding planning checklist so that you know what to expect during the planning process. Based on how much assistance you need in planning your wedding day, I have a list for you.

Wedding Bells: The Wedding Planning Timeline
By Alex Gariano from Team Lauren Conrad
This post is composed by one of the contributors to the Lauren Conrad blog site who is currently in the process of getting married herself. She has a great printable checklist, which starts 12 months out, and some great tips that you can reference throughout the planning process. For the person that just needs a little assistance this is a great checklist to have.

Wedding Workbook
Martha Stewart Weddings
The Martha Stewart Weddings website provides information about every detail when it comes to planning your big day. You do have to create an account to access their downloads and some of their site information, but creating an account is free. Their checklist starts 6 months out from your wedding date and also comes with a budget, guest list, photographer, music, flower and reception seating planner. This checklist will make sure that you have every last detail covered!

The Knot Planning Checklist
The Knot
If you are totally clueless when it comes to planning your big day this might be the site you want to consult first. Everything is organized, and easily accessible, online for you and can keep you organized to a “T.” You can download their ipad or iphone app which will allow you to carry your list with you everywhere you go. This is the perfect electronic event planning tool for any bride-to-be.
Now you are on your way to celebrating a wonderful marriage. Just remember to stay calm throughout the planning process and that you are planning an event to celebrate your soon to be marriage, not a red carpet VIP event, so have fun!

Have a wedding or event planning question that you want answered? Let me know in the comments section below.


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This Saturday is the 109th birthday of the beloved Dr.Seuss. Across the country there will be numerous events celebrating this great man’s life and love of children’s books. Some events that you might be able to find near you are local Read Across America celebrations as well as well as many Chick-fil-A Dr.Seuss parties (contact your local Chick-fil-A to see if they are hosting one this Saturday). So to help get you in the Dr.Seuss celebration mood I have put together 10 fun Seussical themed food ideas based off the books that you can use for the young and the old, and for those here and there, you can use these ideas anywhere!
1. Hop on Pop: Popcorn Bar
2. The Lorax: Truffula Marshmallow Trees
3. Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: Swirl Lollipops
4. Fox in Socks: Poodles Eating Noodles Salad
5. The Sneetches: Pear Sneetch Snack
6. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish: Jello Fish Cups
7. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket: Wocket Chicken Pockets
8. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories: Yertle the Caramel Turtle
9. Green Eggs and Ham: Green Eggs and Ham Cups
10. The Cat in the Hat: Thing Cake Pops

The great thing about a Dr.Seuss themed event is that you can take any ordinary food item and give it a fun name from one of the books. So no matter if you are young or old, new or blue, these fun themed treats will be fun for you! (Sorry I just had to add a line or two!)

Which Dr.Seuss book is your favorite?


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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good time last night watching the Oscars. Last night the girl’s and I combined two events into one by holding our monthly girl’s dinner while watching the Oscars. This month we picked France for our menu theme. To be true to the Parisian eating habits, this was the perfect theme for the evening as we were able to break up our dinner into courses and not miss any of the show.

This month’s theme was especially fun to do since all 3 of us took French and 1 even majored in it in college. So armed with quite a bit of background in the culture, I knew that we would have some amazing food. We broke up our dinner into 3 courses: bread and cheese, meat and dessert.

To start off the evening I prepared the classic bread and cheese plate to start our evening while we enjoyed some wine. I bought a wedge of  brie at Trader Joe’s and then topped it with my mom’s homemade strawberry jam as well as some fresh cut up strawberries. We enjoyed that with a loaf of toasted French bread. We made sure to not waste a single piece of that cheese. When we ran out of French bread we had to improvise and toasted up some hot dog buns. What can I say? The three of us love our brie!
After the cheese course came the meat course. For dinner Ally made coq au vin. It was delicious! The wine sauce was so good we wanted to lick our bowls clean just to enjoy every last morsel. Here is a great recipe on how to make coq au vin from the Food Network.
After that we had to take a little break before we enjoyed some dessert. And it was perfect timing as the Oscars started right when we were finishing. The red carpet was great to watch and we loved having fun checking in on Twitter too to get some great behind the scenes pics and info. Who wore your favorite red carpet look?

After the red carpet finished up we were finally ready to dig into some dessert. Emily, the French major, has always been amazing at making French desserts since we were in French class together in middle school. Last night she made an amazing cake called mille crepe made from layering crepes and filling into the shape of a cake. It was so light and fluffy and the perfect dish to finish up our evening.
And I can’t forget about the best part of the evening. We each got to take home leftovers to enjoy for a second French inspired meal (well everything except for the brie). I will be enjoying mine tonight for dinner. What is your favorite French inspired dish?


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When it comes to making popcorn you don’t have to just go with the store bought kind in the bag. You can make your own right at home for a fraction of the cost and it will taste just as good, if not better. To make your homemade popcorn you will need popcorn kernels and a brown paper bag. Pour the kernels into the bag, fold the top over twice and heat in the microwave. In just 2 minutes you will have your very own homemade popcorn!
Now for the fun part, the toppings. The best things about homemade popcorn is that you can put whatever you want with your popcorn. You can add cheese, butter, chocolate, food coloring, M&M’s or even pretzels. Whatever your favorite sweet or salty treat is can be the perfect compliment for your popcorn. Here are some great popcorn topping ideas from The Busy Budgeting Mama.
However, I have an even better idea. If you remember my post from Tuesday, Ten Popcorn Ideas for Every Occasion, you will have seen so many great ideas that you can do with popcorn. One of my favorites is the colored popcorn.  It reminds me of the colored popcorn, Pop Secret Pop Qwiz Popcorn, from the 90’s that all my friends and I loved having our parents buy so we could see what color popcorn we would get. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up I thought green popcorn would be a fun treat.

To turn your popcorn into a lucky St. Patty’s Day treat you will need 1 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons water and green food coloring. To prepare your coloring bring all the ingredients to a boil, over medium heat, for at least 3 minutes. Once all the ingredients are mixed together pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and stir to give your popcorn a colorful coat. If you want to store the treat for a later time I would recommend pouring out the popcorn onto wax paper and allow it to dry. Now you have the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat for you and your friends!

What is your favorite popcorn treat? Have a great weekend!!


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What did you guys think about yesterday’s popcorn bar idea? There are just so many options when it comes to creating one. My person popcorn favorites are white cheddar and chocolate, but of course the sky is the limit!

In keeping with this week popcorn theme, today I have some great popcorn party ideas for you. Depending on what type of party you are having one of these ideas will accompany your popcorn bar perfectly.

Black Tie Awards Show
Go black tie with your popcorn bar for an awards show night. Deck out the popcorn bar with everything in black and white to give it that elegant touch. You can even provide blank ballots of some of the top awards that will be handed out for the evening and have your guests write down who they want to win. And for the final touch to your black tie theme tie bow ties and cumber buns around the popcorn containers and make cute black tie popcorn cones like these from Bird’s Party Shop.
Rustic Theme
For those who are hosting a party, wedding or reunion outside a rustic themed popcorn bar is the way to go. You can use burlap, twine and wooden baskets to decorate your popcorn containers and as table decorations. Wooden slabs also work great when it comes to creating various table levels. For those that want an easy DIY project you can take thin wooden pieces and paint or carve the different popcorn bar options onto them to display. Here is a great example of a rustic popcorn bar display from Hostess with the Mostess.
Baby Shower
And you don’t just have to limit the popcorn bars to large events. A “Ready to Pop” baby shower is the perfect occasion to have a popcorn bar. You can color the popcorn in the color of the baby-to-be. If it is a gender reveal shower you could have both colors. For a fun game have the guests take the colored popcorn that they think the baby is and then once everyone has “cast their vote” you can reveal the baby’s gender. Here is a great “Ready to Pop” baby shower idea from Kara’s Party Ideas.
Which popcorn party theme do you like the most?


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Happy Wedding Wednesday! Have you ever been to an event that had a candy dessert bar? Well, yes those are cool, but I found something even more fun. A Popcorn Bar!

I stumbled upon this amazing idea when I was at the Charlottesville Wedding Classic this past weekend. At the expo there was a company called Valentine’s Kettle Corn who specializes in on site popping, event favors and popcorn bars. They had an amazing selection of their popcorn flavors and colors to try at the wedding show which included their classic, cherry, cheddar, and chocolate. And the best part of all everything can be customized! From the flavors, colors and display jars the possibilities are endless.
Now, when it comes to your wedding, or any event, a popcorn bar is the perfect addition to your evening. You can have one setup as a favor table for all your guests to make a to-go bag or this could serve as a great late night snack for those that have a party going into the evening. You can get a variety of glass jars and containers to create your popcorn bar display and then tie cute ribbons, in your event colors of course, onto each jar with a label of the popcorn flavor. You could customize your popcorn selection with your wedding colors or have the flavors tie into the bride & groom’s favorites.

The owners of Valentine’s Kettle Corn were telling me all about the different options when it comes to popcorn bars, so the sky really is the limit! They even had the most adorable favor tags that would be perfect for a future bride and groom to use at their wedding. If you are interested in contacting Valentine's Kettle Corn you can email them at ValentinesKettleCorn@gmail.com.
I don’t know why I have never heard of this concept before for an event, but it is such a great idea! And you don’t just have to limit having a popcorn bar to weddings. You could have one for a baby shower (pink and blue popcorn reveal?), at a birthday party or create one for an awards show party (the Oscars are this Sunday!).

What do you think about this popcorn bar idea?


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As I mentioned yesterday, I came away from the Charlottesville Wedding Classic with quite a number of new ideas that I could not wait to share with you. One of those ideas has inspired me to pop up a little fun with a popcorn theme this week. So to start off this popcorn inspired week I have put together 10 great popcorn ideas that you can enjoy all year long as well as a link to each for the recipe if you wanted to try out a few. 
1. Birthday Popcorn from Erica’s Sweet Tooth
2. Popcorn Cupcakes from Best Home Chef
3. Popcorn Easter Eggs from The Prepared Pantry
4. Sweet & Salty Popcorn Bars from Martha Stewart
5. Popcorn Macarons from Eat Show and Tell
6. Red, White and Blue Popcorn Bars from Red Couch Recipes
7. Popcorn Cake Pops from A Cupcake or Two
8. Popcorn Balls from The Galley Gourmet
9. Popcorn Fudge from Raspberri Cupcakes
10. Popcorn Cake from Cookies and Cups

With all these great ideas you don’t have to limit your popcorn to just at the movies anymore. You can enjoy one of these popcorn treats at any occasion any time of the year! What is your favorite popcorn idea?


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This past weekend I attended another bridal show in Charlottesville, The Charlottesville Wedding Classic, hosted by Amanda Dickinson. Amanda is a local event planner in the Charlottesville area and does an amazing job of coordinating this event every year.

This was an amazing show that had over 40 vendors and a fashion show to help a bride-to-be plan her big day. The great thing about a show of this size is that it offers each guest a very personal feel and offers them as much 1-on-1 time that they may need with each vendor. Some of my favorite vendors that I talked with were from Clifton Inn, Wedding Crafters, Valentine’s Kettle Corn, Phlour Designs, Classic Party Rentals of VA, and Noteworthy. I was so excited when I left with as I came away with a number of new event ideas that I cannot wait to share with you!

As with any expo event I always collect a number of pamphlets, cards, info sheets and booklets. In the event industry I consider these my version of fashion and gossip magazines. They contain all the most recent and on trend information in the events industry and I can’t wait to go through all of them.
If you live in the Central Virginia area and get engaged in the next year I would make sure to add this event to my calendar next year. You will come away relaxed and with a number of items checked off that event list with no issues at all! (Thanks for all your hard work in organizing this Amanda!!) 


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Last month my office had a pot luck lunch and I signed up to bring a dessert item. I had no idea what to bring, but knew that I would need something that would not take a lot of time to make. Other people had signed up for the standard brownies and cookies so I was looking for something different to make. When it comes to desserts I am a huge fan of rice krispie treats. So, I did a little recipe search and found this oreo rice krispie treat recipe.

-          6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
-          20 regular Oreos, crushed
-          5 cups mini marshmallows
-          3 tbsp. butter
-          white chocolate for drizzle

1. In a large bowl mix together Rice Krispie cereal and the crushed Oreos. An easy way to crumble your Oreos is to place them in a sealed ziplock bag and taking a rolling pin or meat tenderizer and crushing them. You want them to be in a variety of sizes. 
2. In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter and marshmallows together over medium heat until they are melted together. You will want to continually stir the mixture so that it does not burn or stick to the pan.
3. Once melted, pour the mixture over the Rice Krispies and quickly combine all the ingredients with a silicone spatula (to help prevent sticking).
4. Pour the combined mixture into a sprayed 9x13 dish or a nonstick baking sheet. Using the spatula flatten the Rice Krispie treats as needed.
5. For the final touch, melt some white chocolate (per bag’s instructions) to drizzle on top. I had extra Oreo crumbles in my mixing bowl and added that as well. 
6. When cooled, cut into squares and serve!

Yes they are very messy to make, what Rice Krispie treat recipe isn’t, but they took no time at all to make and were delicious. I will most certainly be making these again soon! What is your favorite dessert recipe?


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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope each of you is having a wonderful day celebrating with those you love most. Still trying to figure out what to do today or need a Valentine’s Day gift idea? Not to worry! I have a few solutions that can help you out.

For the Crafter: Valentine’s Day Party Crafting
For the Baker: Conversation Heart Cookies
For the Music Lover: Valentine’s Day Mix

And if one of those ideas does not work just play a fun evening in, order some take-out and watch a movie together. Just spending time with the person you care about today is all that really matters.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!


p.s. - For a cute Valentine’s Day story be sure to check out my friend’s post: Love is a Big Bucket of Fried Chicken.

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