Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - The Changing Sky

My Outdoor Wednesday is featurning a day in the everchanging Arkansas sky.

Be sure to visit Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. There are many links to fantastic pictures this week, be sure to visit and comment.

Senseless Actions Forever Change Lives

Seems only yesterday that I posted on the blog. But no...I look back and it has been much too long. Life keeps turning, twisting...spiraling at times out of control,
I keep on rolling with it, trying to keep keep up. Things happen...you don't know why...I sit and wonder,if one had made a different choice we wouldn't be faced with this. Sickness, diseases, accidents...seems like my family has had its share lately.

I know that everyone faces these obstacles in life and we will make it through. Some things seem so senseless. Why did someone make the choice to drive while angry & drunk? Don't they realize the lives they forever change. The young teen girls whose mother is taken away while they are much too young. The spouse that is in a daze and cannot grasp the surreal fact that she will never be back. The father that cannot believe he has outlived his daughter...the grandchildren who will never remember their grandmother. People should stop and think before they drink and drive...angry or not. What you do doesn't just affect you...your actions will affect the lives of so many people forever.

Don't be a selfish person, think before you act. Oh, you may say "it was an accident" - maybe so - but it is not an accident if you make the choice to drink and drive. No, you didn't purposely have an accident, but you did purposely take that drink and get behind the wheel. There's nothing wrong with drinking responsibly...but that's the key. Be responsible...stay out of the driver's seat! You're not 10 feet tall and bullet proof...and neither are the people meeting you on the road.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stubb's BBQ Giveaway ~ Ending Tonight

I'm from the South and BBQ is what we do! Fire up the grill and get ready! The Cookie Girl is having a fantastic giveaway. But, you need to hurry! The offer ends tonight at midnight....don't miss your chance to win a whole case of Stubb's sauces! This is a BBQ lovers dream! Ms. Cookie Girl gives you several ways to gain more entries....now run over over to her fabulous blogs and ENTER! When you visit her Cookie Girl Creations blog, be sure to take advantage of the cookie recipes she offers....after all...she is the Cookie Girl (Queen). I love the name of her new blog...Frying Bacon Naked She is posting recipes on this blog, too.

To enter the Stubb's BBQ Giveaway visit Frying Bacon Naked.

I've followed all the rules....sure hope I win!

Good luck to everyone and thank you Cookie Girl for such a fanastic opportunity!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ABC's of the Word....Q

Grey Like Snuffie is hosting ABC's of the Word, please visit her site to view other scriptures.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:8

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday ~ Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks


Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Dreamer, please head on over to view other OW posts.

Nannie lets me dig in the dirt at the edge of the woods, as long as she is outside with me. I'm beginning to tire of digging by myself. Oh boy, here comes Lily...hmmm..wonder if.....

She looks like she wants to play, don't you think?

Now, Lily you must get your head down there a little closer so you can see what you're doing.

Maybe this is what he is wanting me to do...smell the ground?!

This is what he wants....hmmmm...this is lots of fun. I think this is kind of like burying a bone!

Bone! There may be a bone in this hole....that or a mole! Either way....I'm getting it!

Okay, Skeet let's get out of here! Lily's busy digging so we can escape! We're off to the great outdoors....I know how much you love to ride!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Water

Visit Dixie at French Lique for more Wordless Wednesday posts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Memories

Three little girls on a warm summer day,
Asked Grannie what should we do…what game can we play,
Being a wise woman accustomed to young lasses,
She spread out a blanket on the soft, green grasses.
Plopping on their little bellies the giggles ensue,
They roll to their backs gazing at the sky wondering what to do.

Hey, that cloud looks like a bear,
No…it’s a buffalo, I declare.
The hours passed as we watched and pondered,
The shifting, wafting shapes changing as we wondered,
Soft, fluffy, billowy, wispy…floating so high above,
Did they get up there on the wings of a dove?

They had heard of “on the wings of a snow white dove”.
That must be how they got so very high above.
This mystery was more than they could figure out,
Grannie called them to lunch with a shout,
You girls can play again after while,
Skipping, running, jumping to Grannie with a smile.

Enter the "Escape to Hawaii" Sweepstakes

In Style Wedding Boutique is giving away a Blissful Honeymoon Package to one lucky winner! If you've always dreamt of honeymooning in Hawaii but didn't know where the money was coming from....well, here's your chance.

The lucky winner will receive:

* A trip for two to Embassy Suites Waikki Beach Walk - Oahu's only all-suite resort.
* Two roundtrip tickets via Hawaiian Airlines from a U.S. gateway city
(transportation to the gateway city is not included)
* Five nights of luxe accommodations
* 45-minute in-suite lomi lomi massage for two
* $500 shopping spree at the luxurious Waikki Beach Walk

For more information and to register for this fantastic Honeymoon Package, you may visit In Style Wedding's Bridal Boutique. No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes. The sweepstakes begins at 12:01 am Eastern Time on June 5, 2009 and ends at 11:50 pm on September 3, 2009. To see the complete entry rules, please visit www.instyleweddings.com/bridalboutique.

Here's a link to a live web cam on Waikiki Beach Walk.

This site Go Hawaii will give you some background information on the area. This is Hawaii's official tourism site.

This contest is sponsored by: Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk. You may visit Embassy Suites Waikiki for more information on amenities, local attractions and things to do.

Good luck and may one of my blog reading brides win the wonderful honeymoon package!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blue Monday - Daydreaming

This is my very first Blue Monday post. Blue Monday is hosted by Sally. Visit her website to view others who have Blue Monday posts.

After such a rainy May, this day turned out beautiful. I couldn't help looking at the clouds and the way the sunshine makes the sky look so blue. I had my head in the clouds all day.

After looking at the sky, I began to remember the days gone by. The many days as a child, when my cousins and I would spread a blanket on the grass. We spent hours looking at the sky, the clouds and sharing our secrets. Those were the days. We had no problems....the days seemed endless...time stood still.

These memories are even more precious as one of the cousin trio was killed by a drunken driver on Labor Day Weekend 2007. I will always reflect on those days and the precious time the three of us shared. A day of warmth, sunshine, blue sky with scattered clouds brings back those times of wonder, love, trust and friendship.

I imagine her looking down upon us saying, "What do you see?" That was our favorite cloud game. Oh, cheap fun...before the days of video games, cell phones and computers.

This post didn't start out to tell of all of this, but this is what was on my mind and what the pictures bring to mind. Days gone by. Hope you enjoy my cloud pictures. I know you may think I am sad, but I'm not. She was a wonderful person, full of life and love. She was a very forgiving person and would have forgiven the person that cost her the very life she loved. So, in talking of her and the memories I have of those times - I'm not being sad - I'm celebrating her life and our memories. She is in God's Hands now and looking down through these beautiful clouds. I can hear her laughter and feel her love.

Thanks for coming by and reading my post. Happy Blue Monday!

Great Giveaway at Monkey Bizness

Monkey Bizness

If you like to read, be sure to go by Monkey Bizness. Linda is giving away one paperback book, one hardcover book and 1 handmade cloth book cover. Hurry over and check out the details, she tells which books and gives a description of each...the giveway will be over on June 5th.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Food & Drink Ideas for a Beach-Themed Wedding

You're planning a beach-themed wedding, most things are under control. Your thoughts turn to food....what are you going to feed your guests? Are you planning a sit-down meal, food stations, appetizers...should you go more formal or informal. All good questions before you plan the menu. Perhaps, you are going to have the event catered...that's great, you can choose from their menus. If you aren't having your event catered but relying on others to prepare the food for you may want to plan what foods are offered.

I've put together a list of possibilities...no, they aren't my personal recipes. I have tried some of these and found them to be very good. I am providing the links to the recipes and it is up to you to decide which ones tempt your tastebuds.

Salmon With Pineapple Salsa

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Talapia With Mango Salsa

Grilled Chicken With Fresh Mango Salsa

Dave's Low Country Boil (We love Low Country Boils)

Sole - Mustard and Caper Sauce

Pork Tenderloin - Citrus Rub

Catahoula's Savory Crabmeat

Barbecued Skewers of Fish


Cajun Gumbo

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon Shrimp

Shrimp Mangoes and Papayas on Skewers with Mango Salsa

Seafood Salad Supreme

Crab Avocado Salad With Fruit Salsa

Seafood Salad

Layered Seafood Salad Appetizer

California Seafood Dip

Five Layer Seafood Dip

Cheesy Jalapeno Crab Dip

Arlene's Shrimp Dip

Crab Spinach Dip

Festive Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

Remoulade Sauce ala New Orleans

Bite-Sized Crab Quiches

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Quick Bearnaise Sauce

Bacon Wrapped Scallop and Salmon Skewers

Crab and Cheese Spread

Salmon Spread

Creamy Tuna Spread

Creamy Crab Canapes

Hawaiian Ham Spread

Crab and Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms

Flounder Rollups

Salmon and Cucumber Rolls

Shrimp Won Ton

Fresh Salsa

Crab Appetizer Napoleons

New England Clambake

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Crawfish Crab and Shrimp Ceviche

Watermelon Fruit Bowl

Watermelon Salsa

Mango Jicama Salsa

Spicy Orange Salsa

Pineapple Tomato Salsa

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Fruit Dip

Passion Fruit Sangria

Margarita Jello Shots

Non-Alcoholic - Although I'm sure you could add your favorite alcoholic beverage to many of these.

Banana Pineapple Colada

Hawaiian Jungle Juice

Mango Tango Cooler

Fruit Slush

Pineapple Slush

Strawberry Lemon Spritzer

Summer Sangria

Hope some of these recipes will help you with your menu selections. There are many other recipes available on these sites and others. You may search for ideas using google and searching for seafood appetizers, seafood recipes, beach themed foods, ocean themed foods, etc.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

GIVEAWAY at Thankfully Simple - 50 Handwritten Thank You Notes


Many people are busy these days and can't find the extra time to sit and write out thank you notes. You mean to, you want to and next thing you know...time has past and you are too embarrassed to send them out. Don't let that happen again, there is one company that is willing to help you. Thankfully Simple will do the work for you.

The giveaway is for 50 handwritten thank you notes with handwritten envelopes. This is a $125 value. You may provide your own blank thank you notes or arrange for Thankfully Simple to purchase for you. If you need to send out more than 50 cards, they will apply the giveaway prize ($125) credit to your account.

This is a fantastic giveaway for the person who doesn't have the time it takes to write out handwritten notes. You will be able to thank the person for the thoughtfulness of their gift and acknowledge that you received the gift. No more being embarrassed because you didn't send out your thank you notes.

You may read more about the giveaway at the Thankfully Simple Blog. It is transferable and has no expiration date. You may save it for later, give it away as a gift to a bride or anyone needing thank you notes written.

Hurry on over to www.thankfullysimple.blogspot.com and leave a comment to be entered. The drawing is June 1, 2009.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beach-themed Wedding Ideas

Many of you will actually have your wedding on the beach, while some of you may opt to have a beach-themed wedding at a land-locked location inside or outside. These ideas may work with either scenario. You will want to pick and choose as you will not need to try to incorporate all of the ideas into one wedding.

There are many different ways you can go with a beach-theme. You may decide to use mostly a sea shell theme, sailboats, pirate, treasure hunt, items seen on a beach or creatures from the ocean. We hope you will find a new idea from us or perhaps we will provide the spark for a unique idea of your own.

Happy planning!

Use a surfboard as a table for favors, the card box or guestbook.

Construct a card box shaped as a shell, sandcastle, lighthouse, beach hut, lobster trap or other beach related object.

Use shades of ocean green, sky blue, ocean blue, sand beige, tropical pink, orange or lime green.

Have guests wear Hawaiian shirts.

Leis for the guests – may be flower leis, leis made from shells or made from your choice of flowers & shells.

Limbo contest. Beach volley ball.

Decorate cake with shells, starfish, seahorses, palm trees out of fondant or icing. May use real shells. Scatter real shells around on the table. Could use real sand or brown sugar to look like sand then add shells.

Grass skirts to line base of tables.

Four rattan poles draped with white gauze as a canopy.

Garlands of sea shells between chairs, on tables, lining the aisle, etc.

Use sea shells in the aisle instead of rose petals.

Bouquets of flowers mixed with shells and other sea treasures.

Flowers, greens, raffia or bear grass looped with clusters of shells that are attached (with glue) to hang on chairs by the aisle.

Tiki torches to line the aisles or scattered about.

Line the aisle with pails of sand, buckets of shells, paper luminaries or palm branches.

Make or rent a beach gazebo. Build a wooden aisle to resemble a pier or boardwalk.

Woven baskets full of favors, bottle waters, etc.

Use a small paddleboat to hold iced beverages.

Leather journal (to resemble log book) for the guest book.

Nets on the wall or on tables – adorn with shells, starfish, anchors, rope, life rings, oars, buoys. This might be a good idea for a groom’s table – scatter shells, etc around with a little sand or brown sugar underneath, use a cake shaped like a lighthouse, shells, anchor, or any other beach related item that he prefers.

Use buoys in corners or as aisle markers.

Use a conch shell as a cake topper with smaller shells, starfish and pearls to adorn the cake.

Sandcastle-shaped cake – use brown sugar for sand around the cake with candy sea shells, star fish, sand dollars, and/or seahorses.

Dolphin Ice Sculpture.

Sand Pails full of flowers. You could use these as centerpieces or line the aisle with them.

Spread sand/shells for bride and groom to stand on.

Use a large shell lined with tissue paper or material for carrying the rings instead of a ring pillow.

Adirondack chairs, Picnic Tables, Beach Blankets or Picnic baskets may be incorporated in your theme.

Outdoor reception – spread sand down center of tables – add tea lights or lanterns, shells, etc.

Sailboat tea light candles.

Beach hut bubbles, beach hut centerpieces.

Use bamboo mats, banana leaf or palm frond under centerpieces.

Make beach themed shaped place cards from plaster of Paris – paint & write guests names on with a sharpie marker.

Driftwood or sea shells as place card holders.

Starfish or shell shaped place cards.

Cut small surf board from balsa wood – paint and add names to use as place cards. Could use a small wooden easel to hold them up.

Use white candles, white sand, scatter sea shells, sand dollars, star fish, etc around it or prop the starfish up against the candle as a centerpiece.

Fill bowl with sand, add various shells, pebbles, starfish, etc. and a candle (in a votive cup) or tealight in the center.

Cylinder vases (various heights) – shells in bottom, fill with water, add a floating candle – set on a bamboo mat, palm frond or banana leaf. Add sand under vases. Make sure floating candles are almost as large as the vases or they will float to one side.

Candles with raffia tied around them & shells attached to the front.

Moss covered wreaths decorated with shells of various shapes, sizes and colors, sea glass, starfish, rope or any other item you prefer – set candles or lanterns in the center. Scatter a few shells around the outside edge of wreaths.

Clear glass container with sand/shells or pebbles in the bottom – add beach grass.

Use blue glass bottles from a flea market to hold your flowers, beach grass, etc.

Glass vases – add a layer of pearls in the bottom- insert candle (in votive cup) in the center.
Crystal or clear bowl – votive candle in center surrounded by glass pebbles, shells & pearls.

Use starfish or shell shaped bowls, plates or platters.

Boats or buckets of mints.

Beach-themed shaped and decorated cookies – may be enclosed in cello tied with raffia and adorned with a shell as a favor.

Decorative beach themed soap favors.

Seashell hor d’oeuvre picks.

Bamboo napkins rings.

Palm leaf fans for guests.

Hurricane vases filled with sand and shells around a candle in the center.

Candles with embedded shells.

Tabletop tiki torch centerpieces.

Place sand and shells in a bowl, fill with water add floating candles.

Use shaped floating candles: star fish, fish, palm trees, shells, etc.

Tall vases with palm fronds.

Vases filled with various sizes, shapes and colors of shells.

Use Pineapples as centerpieces on food tables or you may stack three for a pineapple tree. You will have to slice the top off of two of the pineapples and attach them together with wooden skewers.

Sand dollars with a ribbon or jute attached; add wedding date and/or couple’s names – Christmas ornament favor

Serve drinks with umbrellas.

Rent or construct a beach hut bar to serve your favorite beach beverages.

Recommendations for beach beverages:

Pina Colada, Blue Hawaiian Cocktail, Green Dragon, Sex on the Beach Cocktail, Tropical Itch Cocktail, Sangria, Melon Martinis, Watermelon Margaritas, Mimosa, Coco Loco, Midnight by the Beach, Mojito, Southern Comfort Punch, Beach Bum Cocktail, Rum Runner, or lemon, lime or orange jello shooters.

Non-Alcoholic: Herb-infused teas and lemonade.

Margarita Bar:

Mango, Papaya, Tangerine, Lemon, Key Lime, Passionfruit or Watermelon.

A few food Ideas:

Set up food stations – finger foods, fork foods, dessert station, salad station, fruit station,etc.

Candy Buffett – dolphins of molded chocolate, sea shell, sand dollar, star fish or palm tree shaped candies. Maybe made from various chocolates.

Cupcakes decorated in a beach theme or tropical flavored cupcakes.

Clam bake, luau or barbeque.

Shrimp in shot glasses at each place setting.

Fresh fruit, fruit juices, vegetable or meat kabobs, coconut cake or cupcakes, sweet & sour chicken or pork, salads.

Grilled chicken.

Shrimp, potato, corn on cob boil with baked beans and salad.

Tropical fruits & cheese appetizers.

Crab cakes with spicy remoulade.

Grilled shrimp and scallop kabobs.

Use large conch shells for holding grapes, condiments, or mints.

Build a bonfire if it is an evening wedding.

Play beach music – such as Beach Boys, etc.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Many Times Does It Take?!

The phone rings and it is the same automated voice, “This is your last chance to lower your credit card interest”. Now I have interrupted my day on 10 occasions this week to answer the phone and receive this same message. They call both phone lines…taking turns…GIVE UP!!!!
Finally, I’ve had enough. I’ve tried not answering, answering and hanging up….so I give it a shot…I hang on for a FOR REAL LIVE PERSON! Imagine my shock, when I am directed to one immediately. Person says, “Have you just received a call about your credit card”? DUH!! I almost laugh…too funny…why else would I be on the line! I reply sweetly, “Yes, I did and I would appreciate it if you would take me off your calling list”. The person hangs up on me. Go figure! LOL

Fast forward to the today, well not too fast as I received multiple calls each day. Phone rings…I check caller ID…there it is once again…trying not to laugh I hang on once again, determined to get rid of these aggravating, irritating pests who never give up. Well, I answer and the automated person goes through the same little speech…I hang on for a chance at another FOR REAL LIVE PERSON….I get it. LOL The person says, “Did you receive a call about your last chance to lower your credit card interest”? Very sweetly and sarcastically I say, “Yes, I did and I surely hope it is the very last chance! Please remove me from your list….I don’t need my rate lowered as I don’t owe anything!” This one hung up on me, too. You would think I was calling and bugging them! Am I removed....I doubt that I'm that lucky!

Well, four hours have passed and there are no calls….there is always tomorrow. I think I’ll just go back to letting the answering machine get them when they call again. I’m sure they will….you can’t get these people to stop…they don’t understand the concept of NO.

36 Places Offering Free Wedding Websites

You’re getting married! How exciting! There is so much to do and you are beginnng to think you could use some help. Well, help is within a mouse-click! There are many free wedding websites around and I will list a few that I’ve come across. I am not recommending any of them and advise you to read the fine print. I do know people that have used the sites with great success. These are places that host (for free) your very own wedding website.

You may be asking, “What is a free wedding website and why do I need one”? Well, let me tell you some reasons you may want a wedding website. Organization is the first and foremost benefit of having a website. Having all of your details in one location – where you can find them, is a definite plus. You may be hiring a wedding planner…that’s a great idea, but you may still want to keep up with what is going on and share your wedding plans with close friends and relatives.

Here’s a list of features that maybe offered on a wedding website:

*You receive your very own wedding website and a wedding blog.
*Wedding guest list planner.
*Guests may RSVP online.
*Wedding budget planner tool.
*Share your favorite stories – how we met, engagement, etc. with family & friends.
*Keep guests informed about wedding events.
*Family & friends may leave comments or messages on your wedding website or blog.
*Display details about your wedding ceremony & reception.
*Display photos of you & your fiancé, family members and/or bridal party.
*May have multiple photo albums.
*Wedding blog on the updates of your wedding preparations and coming events.
*Create polls or quizzes to find out how well your family & friends know you.
*Create polls for honeymoon suggestions.
*Display details about your honeymoon.
*Display accommodation details for out of town guests – including directions.
*Display local attractions for out of town guests.
*Display gift registries.
*Many third party widgets can be added – such as slide shows.
*Calendar of Events.
*Record Gifts Received.
*Keep track of vendors.
*Wedding budget.
*Create a timeline.
* Facebook Integration.
*FAQ page for guests.

These are but a few of the features available. Not all free wedding websites offer the same features. You will need to research and see which one is the best fit for you. Some of them offer additional features if you upgrade to a paying plan, but there are many good ones that are free. There is a wealth of free information on many of the sites listed below. Hope you find something that will make your planning days a little less stressful.


May one of these sites help your wedding planning go smoother. That is our intention. There are many free resources out there and we plan to find more of them. Check back often. We will be looking for free giveaways, contests and places that offer free information to make your life easier. If you would like to contribute to this list – please feel free to do so.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

11 Places to Consider for Honeymooning

Today while reading around on the 'net, I came across MSN Travel's recommended places to get more for your dollar. The eleven places they recommend are beautiful. MSN has created a slideshow of the places along with a list of attractions for each. The rating for currency comparison between the United States and the recommended country is listed. If you are looking for an affordable honeymoon spot, maybe one of these will be just the one! Everyone is looking to get the most for their dollars, so check it out.

Here's a list of the eleven countries:

1. The Seychelles
2. Iceland
3. Ukraine
4. Zambia
5. Russia
6. Hungary
7. Colombia
8. Romania
9. Chile
10. Jamaica
11. Turkey

Hope you find just the right spot for you and your honey!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Love Is...

Love is patient…Love is kind,
Love is not all in the mind.
Love is being together hand in hand,
Love is not burying your head in the sand.
Love is finding that one of a kind.
Love is not perfect…love is not blind,
Love is the fluttering of your heart,
Love is not picking one another apart.
Love is that special warm glow,
Love is not full of woe.
Love is heartfelt emotion to the core,
Love is forevermore.

Debbie L Wahl

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wedding Dress Contest

Cheap Chic Weddings is running a Wedding Dress Contest. This contest has an unique twist - the dress must be created from toliet paper, tape, and glue. Ripley's Believe It or Not is the sponsor of the Toliet Paper Dress Contest. Cheap Chic Weddings awards 3 prizes: 1st place receives $1000.00, 2nd place receives $500.00, and 3rd place receives $250.00.

All of you creative brides, take a shot at this one for some extra money to spend on your wedding. Go to Cheap Chic Weddings for the contest details and rules.

C.K.Q. Gifts Tiara Contest~~How We Got Engaged!

Every bride wants to feel like a princess, this beautiful tiara will help you achieve your dreams. Dana of C.K.Q. Gifts invites all newly engaged couples to enter their Tiara Contest. C.K.Q. Gifts believes that every newly engaged couple has a “great story” to tell and some are more creative than others. If you are getting ready to take the step to holy matrimony and would like to win this beautiful tiara, take the time to share your story with C.K.Q. Gifts.
They are looking for someone with a unique, creative story. Be sure to share details of your engagement that may have been different from others; tell where it took place; who was there; how it happened; and anything else you can think of that will make your engagement stand out from the rest. Please email your story to dana@ckqgifts.biz along with a photo of you and your fiancé. The winning story will be posted on the CKQ Gifts squidoo page.

If you have any questions about the Tiara Contest please email Dana at dana@ckqgifts.biz. May one of you lucky brides win this beautiful, sparkling tiara to help make your wedding day dreams come true.

Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friendship on the Net

The sun is streaming through the blinds onto the bed,
As I rouse awake trying to get thoughts into my head.

Yawning, stretching, getting the body in a nimble state,
Contemplating what this great day holds….what is the date?

Mind is foggy, needing to clear…much to do here,
Out of the bed I climb, facing the day without fear.

The coffee is brewing for the much need jolt,
Off like a flash, to the computer I bolt,

Log on to check to see what the twitter is about,
What fun to see if you will get the fail whale to come out.

On to the blog to make a new post,
About someone you admire the most.

The forums – oh what fun!
The friends you have made and the things you have done.

Peoples lives that have crossed… changes that have been made,
Shared thoughts, kindness, prayers..all who have rushed to my aid.

Where or where would we be…if not for the internet,
And our social networking friends….lonely I bet.

Debbie L Wahl

Friday, April 10, 2009

Westernize Your Cupcakes

Smaller wedding cakes on each table, mini cakes at each place setting or cupcakes on a tiered server are popular as well as dessert bars. If you are planning a western wedding, have you wondered how to incorporate cupcakes into the theme? I'm sure you don't want to use plain ole cupcakes in your western-themed wedding. I would like to share a few ideas with you.

Keep in mind that I don’t make cakes professionally, but have dabbled in the past. You will need to take the matter up with your baker/decorator to see if the idea is feasible.

*Decorate regular cupcakes with rope-look icing edging. You could include the initial on top to look like a brand.

*Make an icing cowboy hat, saddle or cowboy boot on the top of each cupcake.

*Instead of a tiered holder, use a white enamel plate or platter to hold the cupcakes.

*Make rectangular cupcakes (using mini loaf pans) – decorate to resemble hay bales.

*The cupcake hay bales can be decorated farther by adding icing horseshoes, cowboy hat, etc.

*For a sunflower theme, decorate the top of each cupcake with an icing sunflower. Or you could use silk sunflowers atop each cupcake.

*Use mini sunflower pans to bake the cupcakes.

*Decorate the top of each cupcake with an icing horseshoe or 2 icing horseshoes slightly overlapping.

*For a John Deere country theme cupcake – Ice cupcakes yellow; add the John Deere logo either in icing or by using the plastic picks.

Frost a regular cupcake with your favorite icing – add a chocolate-shaped cowboy hat; cowboy boot; horseshoe, etc. to the top of each cupcake.

I’m sure there are many more ideas for western themed cakes and cupcakes. If you have an idea you would like to share - please feel free to post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Free Photography for One Lucky Bride!

Sherrlyn Borkgren Photography is giving away free wedding photography this year shot by her personally. If you haven't seen her pictures, please go right to her site www.lovesimplyhappens.com to view them. She is fabulous - so talented! She wants to bless someone and give back. Please visit her blog www.lovesimplyhappens.blogspot.com. She has a post on the blog about the giveaway along with the instructions for entering the contest.

The rules are simple - something anyone can do. The deadline is March 31 to enter.

What are you waiting for - you could win wedding photography from Sherrlyn Borkgren Photography and a honeymoon trip from the Travel Channel! Good luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Win a Trip of A Lifetime

During these tough economic times, we are all wanting to get away. What better way then to win a FREE trip - a trip of a lifetime. The Travel Channel is having a Trip-A-Month Sweepstakes. This month the prize is a trip for 2 to Peru. Just imagine flying (round-trip expenses paid) to beautiful, magical Peru for seven days and six nights.

You will visit Lima, Cuzco, the banks of the Amazon and take a train tour to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu has been voted on of the new 7 wonders of the world.

For more information on this sweepstakes - how to enter, the rules, etc. Please visit The Travel Channel.

You could win a free trip for your honeymoon to a fabulous, exotic place. Each month will feature a different location.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rentals May Help Cut Costs

You’re planning the wedding of your dreams and the budget just went over the top. Some areas are going to have to be cut, but you can’t bear to do without any of your selections! What to do? Carefully review your plans – just to see if maybe, just maybe you can live without something. If the answer is no way! Then you could consider renting some of the items that are necessary to make your dream day come true.

There are many rental companies around. I would recommend comparing prices as some of them offer better bargains than others. Some offer delivery and pick up services for a fee. You may be able to negotiate the fees if you rent many items. You could ask if you will be allowed to pick the items up yourself and return them. This may be an option, if you have a large number of people to help you. You will need to appoint a reliable person to be in charge of this. You should not try to do this yourself, as you and the groom will not have time to deal with this.

Now to some of the items offered by rental companies:

Tents – There are a large variety of tents available in many sizes and styles. Tents for small gatherings to tents for a hundred or more, tents with sides and climate control, open-sided tents – there is a tent available for every need. If you are planning an outdoor event, a tent may be valuable to you as you will not have to worry about the weather ruining your perfect day. A tent is like a giant blank backdrop just waiting to be brought to life with your decorations, ideas and style. Imagine theatrical lighting, stages, dance floors, tables, chairs, linens and china – your personal touch will create a masterpiece. Tents can be transformed into the most elegant of affairs to a western hoedown with hay, denim table clothes and chairs with bandana sashes. Choose a rental place that visits the venue to help you determine which is best for you. If you have the funds in your budget, many of them offer the service of setting up the tent and decorating it for you.

Tables, chairs, linens and china are all available at most of the rental places. Unless you have access to a large number of these items, I would highly recommend renting them. It is much more cost effective to rent than to purchase them and never use them again.

Dance floors and stages are available in a variety of sizes and designs. If you are hiring a disc jockey you may want to check with that company as they also offer dance floors. I would definitely do a price comparison. With some DJ services, they pass a savings to you for purchasing more services. They may be willing to add a dance floor, a frozen drink machine or a karaoke machine – or perhaps offer you a good discount if you purchase these services from them. The best part of getting these items from the DJ service is – they bring the items with them, set them up, take them down and you don’t have to mess with it. But, I would check with the particular service to make sure they offer this as DJ services have different conditions.

Beverage Services – There are a wide array of beverage items available in different sizes and styles. Urns, coffeemakers, cream pitchers, sugar bowls, punch bowls, ladles, water pitchers, wine carafes, tea service sets, 5 gallon hot/cold dispensers and tabletop or floor standing wine coolers may all be found at rental stores. If you need a cocktail bar or cart for your special event, check the rental companies as there are different styles and sizes available. These bars and carts do not include the liquor, setups or bartender.

Reception - Some other items that you may want to consider renting rather than purchasing: champagne fountains, chocolate fountains, ice carving & display bars, cake plateaus, cocktail bars & carts, outdoor lighting, air conditioners or heaters for tents, china, flatware, glassware, serving utensils, serving trays and bowls. Frozen drink machines, dance floors, stages, karaoke machines are available at rental companies and at most DJ services.

Decorations - Arches, chuppahs, candelabras, columns, and votive candles are available as rentals. You may want to comparison shop at your florist for some of these items. Many times people do not think about a florist having rental items, but many of them do and this may be your best bet for some of the items you need.

Cooking - If you need large grills that will hold 40 steaks or 30 chicken halves, look to the rental companies. Many sizes and styles are available from rotisseries, propane grills - to smokers on trailers. You may have to do a bit of calling to find what you need but better than ending up purchasing something you don’t need all the time. Ask about chafing dishes, propane burners/fish cookers and pots, griddles, heat lamps, hot plates and electric roasters.

I know that I haven’t covered all items that are available from rental companies. Check with your local rental companies, florists, and dj's - seek reputable companies - compare prices. There are many ways to shave a bit off of your budget. If you are planning a DIY wedding or looking for a way to cut some expense from your budget this may be an option for you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Free Wedding Photography Contest

We are always looking for contests to pass along to our couples. This one is being offered by Misha Nikole Photography of Grand Praire, TX.

Misha Nikole Photography is looking for deserving couples to award their prize of free photography for your wedding. They are looking for couples with a great love story and incredible style.

To enter this contest follow this link: Misha Nikole Photography or go to www.mishanikole.com, click on "The Wedding" and enter your information in the check availbility spaces.

The wedding ceremony must be before April 25, 2009.

You must submit to Misha Nikole:

picture of bride & groom
reason why you should be selected
your wedding details

Misha Nickole Photography
Grand Prairie, TX

We are not affiliated with Misha Nikole nor or we endorsing them. We are simply passing along an availble contest to you. It is up to you to decide if it is legit and if you want to enter. Be sure to carefully check their website for the official rules and regulations.

We will be looking for more contests, discounts and savings for you in the future.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dreaming of the Day

Dreams and visions dancing in my head,
As I lay reclined in my bed.
My honey popped the magical question
Without my prodding suggestion.

He dropped on bended knee,
Right before me.
Looking deep into my eyes
He asked will you be my bride.

The answer, of course, was Yes, oh Yes!
There was no room for guessing.
I wanted him to be sure that I was his,
I worked myself up into quite a tiz.
This was the moment I had dreamt many a night,
Wondering when the time would be right.

It seems so surreal…. time is standing still,
I’m out of breath as if I’ve been running up hill.
My heart skipping a beat…
This man of mine is one to keep.
He’s thoughtful, kind and romantic, too
No other man will do.

I would tie the knot…right on the spot,
But we cannot.
We must plan…invite the family and friends,
To see our two lives blend.

This cowboy and I will pick a theme,
To showcase our wedding dream.
It’s western…of course,
We will arrive riding our horse.
Ropes, hay bales, sunflowers and tubs,
Barbequed meat with just the right rub.

What a celebration this day will bring,
When we exchange our vows and rings.
Our true love we will declare,
And throw our hats into the air.

In my dream I can see it all very clearly,
As we share our lives with those we hold dearly.
The most perfect start to our new life,
I promise to be the very best wife.
As I drift off to sleep all snuggled in my bed,
Visions of our new life floating though my head.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DIY Wedding - It is Possible

In these tough economic times, many brides are opting for a DIY (do-it-yourself) wedding. This is certainly a money-saving option for many brides. A wedding planner is wonderful, if you have the available funds. Many people do not or opt to spend the funds on a different area of the weeding or on a honeymoon. If you decide to go with a DIY wedding, you need to get organized. Organization is the key to having a wedding flow smoothly. To get organized, buy yourself a wedding planner book or make one yourself. If you need guidelines, research on the internet or check out a book from your local library. Use all of the free resources available in order to trim your budget.

Decisions, decisions….now is the time to decide exactly what you want your wedding to be and make choices. Decide what type of wedding you prefer: traditional, contemporary, destination, or themed. Do you have your heart set on getting married at a certain venue? Is it within your budget or do you need to find another place that will work. You may want to consider getting married on a day other than Saturday as many venues have lower prices for other days of the week. Or you may change the time of your wedding from evening to afternoon or perhaps late morning. If you are considering a destination wedding, you may want to check on the prices and consider having your wedding in the off-season. For example, a summer beach wedding will cost more than a fall or winter beach wedding. If you are planning a destination wedding, you will need to work with someone from the area to help you make arrangements for your wedding. You probably cannot take care of all of the details of a destination wedding from home; however you can take care of a lot of them.

If you are not having a wedding coordinator then you need to appoint a close friend or family member to be in charge of coordinating your wedding. As the bride, you will not have time to be overseeing last minute details the day of the wedding. You will need someone to make sure everyone is where they should be, the appropriate music is playing, the flowers are in the correct spot, oversee the delivery of the cake, etc. You need help, as the bride should have time to enjoy and savor being a bride on her wedding day.

You should write down all of your wants, wishes and desires along with the costs of each. This will help you to decide where you can trim your budget, what is most important to you and if you can eliminate something all together.

Make the following categories in your wedding planner booklet:

Budget – in this section write down the allotted funds for each of your categories. Decide which is most important to you. If you love real flowers and cannot live without them, then this is one of the most important areas of your wedding and you should allot enough funds to cover it. Maybe the venue is the most important to you or having a DJ or band at the reception.

Guest List – Write out your total guests list then see if you can trim it. The more people you invite the most it costs. So, eliminate people you haven’t seen in several years or people you don’t maintain close contact.
Invitations – Buying invitations online or at your local discount store and print them yourself will save quite a bit. Maybe you don’t have a printer that will do the task or don’t feel comfortable doing it – chances are I’ll bet you know someone who will be willing to help you.

Venue – There are so many venues to choose from and there are many variances in prices. Now is the time to decide – inside or outside; or maybe you want the ceremony inside and the reception inside. Do you want both at the same location? Venue options: Your church, a college chapel, lodge, state park, pavilion on the lake, field, barn, park, beach, a friend or family member’s yard, country club, hotel or convention center ballroom, garden, river pavilion, ranch, arena, mountain overlook or top, castle, plantation, farm…Your imagination is the limit, there are many places to get married. Pick one that holds a special meaning for you and your fiancée or some place that will accommodate the type of wedding you want.

Dress – Looking for a dress can be a daunting task. Look through some magazine to find a style that appeals to you. There are many places that offer discounts on wedding dresses. One national chain bridal store offers $99.00 dresses. Another option is looking online. If you go to some bridal stores, find a dress you like and determine the size – then go online to seek it at a lower price. There are several auction sites that sell wedding accessories, dresses, supplies, etc. online.

Attendants – How many attendants do you want? The more you choose, the more flowers you will need, etc. Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor dresses can be found many places. You can look at that national chain store I was talking about. They have many reasonable dresses but you can look at some department stores. Depends on what type of dress you have in mind. If you are looking for tea-length dresses, you will have a good selection at many department stores. Again, you can look at the stores – determine the style and size then shop online. Allow ample time for shipping – don’t wait until the last minute. I would choose a reputable person and if I chose to deal with someone from an auction site, I would make sure they have excellent feedback.

If the men in the wedding party are wearing tux's I would recommend renting them locally.

Are you planning on Jr. bridesmaids, ring bearer, flower girl, candlelighters, ushers, etc. This is the place to list them and any costs that you will incur connect with them.

Flowers – Buy flowers wholesale and enlist family and friends to make the bouquets, boutonnieres and arrangements. If you want fresh, be prepared to pay more. Use fresh flowers that are in-season and readily available in your area. If you can live with artificial flowers and don’t want to make the bouquets & arrangements– shop around on the internet. There are lots of bargains out there for the savvy shopper. Get your family and friends to help you search online for places that have the type of flowers you want. You may be able to use some of the arrangements from the ceremony at the reception.

Officiant – Your local minister may marry you for a small fee. Maybe a family member is a minister or wedding officiant. Find someone that you and your fiancée can agree upon. If you are having a destination wedding you will have to work with someone from that area to arrange the details of your wedding for you.

Reception – Do you want to serve a meal, finger foods, or cake and punch, only? If you plan to serve a meal, do you want it catered or do you have a friend or family member that can be in charge of the food? Do you have tables and chairs or do you need to rent them? Many places rent chairs for $2-$3 each and charge a setup fee and a pickup fee. You can rent tables, chairs, tents, etc. If you hire a caterer, are they bringing the tableware or are you responsible? If you opt for finger foods, you or a family member may prepare them ahead and freeze them. Sam’s Club, Costco, etc. have many appetizers available. If you decide to take care of the food yourselves instead of hiring a caterer or using venue with a food service, someone will need to be assigned to oversee the details. If you go this option, I would rent rather than buy any items that I could.

Cake – Do you want a small, medium or large cake? Do you plan to hire someone to bake the cake, contact a bakery, or do you have a friend or family member that bakes cakes. Are you planning to have a groom’s cake? Some people opt to not have a large cake. They have small 2-tiered cakes on each table, using them as centerpieces and eliminating the cost of flowers for each table. If you decide to go with a larger wedding cake, shop around. The style and size of cake will determine the cost. When you receive your RSVP’s then you can decide the size of the cake. If you are having a meal, snack foods, appetizers, finger foods and serving liquor then you will not need as much cake as you would if you are serving cake and punch only.

Liquor – Do you plan to serve liquor at your wedding? This can be a budget eater but many people want to server liquor. You need to determine if the venue you have chosen will allow liquor. If so, do they provide the liquor, are you allowed to bring your own in, can you have a margarita machine, etc. Who is responsible for the set-ups – glasses, ice, sodas, etc. Do the provide a bartender or do you need to make arrangements for someone to tend the bar? If you need to reduce costs, choose a venue that you can bring your own liquor, set-ups and your own bartender. This is the most cost effective way. Limit the alcoholic selections to what you think most of your guests will prefer. These are your friends and family members so you should be able to determine what will most likely be in the highest demand.

Now, for entertainment at the reception – do you want music? If you decide on a DJ, check around, the prices vary drastically. The best deal on DJ services I have found is at DJ Connection in Tulsa, OK. They have many DJ’s and travel to many states. I know they serve the AR, TX, OK area and may have other locations as well. You are not limited to 2 hours, they will play the music for the wedding ceremony and the reception, have margarita machines and karaoke machine for rent. They are professional and willing to work with you on making your music selections. Look for them at http://www.djconnectiontulsa.com/. If you don’t want to allocate funds for a DJ, maybe a family member or friend will be able be in charge of music for your reception.

If you are having a western-themed wedding with an outside venue you could have a couple of places set up for the guests to play horseshoes, a steer head anchored in a hay bale for roping, stick horses for the kiddies, etc.

Favors – If you want favors, there are many that you can make yourself. If you don’t want to or don’t have the time – search around the internet or drop by our website. Buy your favors bulk, then have a party with your friends to assemble them. There are many affordable favors and you can find some for any budget.

Miscellaneous - This section is for items that don't fit any other place. Anything that costs you needs to be listed, along with the price.

You may want a unity candle, a sand ceremony, special glasses for the toast, garter, pillow for the ring bearer, flower girl baskets, rice bags, guest book, etc.

These are a few of the areas I wanted to cover today. I’ll be posting other thoughts along the way. Feel free to add your comments or suggestions to this post.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Muse’s 100th Blog Post Giveaway

Please go by a certain Muse’s page and help her reach her goal of 200 comments. If she reaches 200 by Tues. (tomorrow), she will donate $1000 to the American Cancer Society. This is an organization that I am deeply supportive of as many members of my family have had cancer. My Dad and my father-in-law are cancer survivors. You never know when this dreaded disease may rear its ugly head and change your family member’s life. I think this is a wonderful way for the Muse to celebrate her 100th post – all we have to do is help her celebrate by posting our comments.

I believe she is giving away other prizes, as well. Be sure to visit her blog at www.adivashammer.blogspot.com and help her out. At the present time the blog you should comment on is the 2nd one down the page and is titled “The Muse 100th Post Reaches For The Stars”.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Said Yes....Now the Quest

Down upon bended knee,
My sweetie came to me.
Will you please be my bride,
Yes, I answered with great pride.
He pulled the ring from his pocket,
Shining, shimmering – a token of his love,
The diamond was my favorite,
The one I had dreamt of.
My mind overflowing with happiness,
My energy level is boundless.
We must get busy…make plans,
Where do we begin?
Let’s pick a date, a venue, a dress,
Oh my, I cannot rest!
Should we have a theme,
Or just follow our dream.
Full of ideas my mind is racing,
Around the room I was pacing.
Exhausted I fell into bed,
Tomorrow I’ll search at Delightfully Wed.

Debbie L Wahl

Friday, January 2, 2009


Fresh as the new fallen snow,
New beginnings offer many places to go.
Should I choose the path already blazed,
or the one twisted as a maze?
The passage lies before me beckoning come,
Luring with a taste of new found freedom.
Unknown territory, ventures galore,
knocking upon my door.
Be brave, be bold...
Who knows what the future holds.
Beginnings, endings, or somewhere in between,
All things are not meant to be seen.
Take a chance with the uncharted way,
This could be your very best day.
Embrace each moment as your last,
Regrets will never cloud the past.