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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Looking Skinny For Wedding Photos

Photo courtesy of:

Comment on photo from "Gary always hated how skinny he and Elaine looked in their wedding picture."

Sorry, I just couldn't resist! This blog is full of hysterical photos with funny captions.  Take the time to go over and have a laugh or two.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars for Sweet and Salty Favors

Recipe and Photo courtesy of Eliazbeth at
Now that you've fallen in love with the photo, here's the easy to follow recipe for these to die for bar desserts.  Perfect for your sweet table or to give as favors for your guests.  To quote Elizabeth at Guilty Kitchen as to why they are called Idle Hands Bars "idle hands are the Devil’s playground and the Devil definitely made me make these, because they are sinful. Eat your boring, chocolate heart out, Devil’s Food Cake!"  So chocolate and peanut butter lovers you owe Elizabeth a huge debt of gratitude for your new favorite dessert!

Idle Hand Bars

Base Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

5 Tbsp. Cocoa

1 egg, beaten

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels

1. In double boiler (or a bowl resting over a pot of lightly simmering water), melt the first three ingredients.

2. While still over water, add egg and beat to combine (will thicken quite a bit here). Remove from heat and add crumbs and pretzels.

3. Press into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Set aside.

Middle Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter (no salt added, reduce salt accordingly if using salted)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1. Add peanut butter and butter together in small bowl.

2. Mix in sugar, salt and vanilla to form a thick paste.

3. Dump onto base layer and smooth over, patting down to make a flat, even layer.

Top (final) Layer

5 oz. Semi Sweet Choclate chips (or other fine chocolate)

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Pink Himalayan salt (or other fine sea salt)

1. In double boiler (or microwave), melt butter and chocolate chips together. Stir until complete dissolved and smooth.

2. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread out evenly.

3. Cool in fridge for about 5 minutes (should still be slightly soft on top but not warm).

4. Sprinkle, lightly, with Himalayan salt. Return to fridge (or freezer, if you’re in a hurry like I was), and let cool completely to become hard.

5. Cut into small squares and don’t say I didn’t warn you….these things are addictive.

You can freeze these too, might make them last longer and would let your make them ahead of time for a wedding.

After Party Drink -- Russian Hot Chocolate

Photo courtesy of:

Planning a party after your reception?  Consider serving this wonderful hot chocolate to your guests.  The recipe is from  One taste and your will fall in love!  And isn't that what you want people to remember about your wedding, LOVE? 

Russian Hot Chocolate

1 quart low fat milk
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise (our huge vanilla beans are perfect for this recipe)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp. Star Kay White pure chocolate extract
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. cognac
whipped cream and shaved chocolate for garnish

Combine sugar and cocoa powder with 1/3 cup of cold milk. Combine remaining milk and sugar in a non-reactive pot. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the inside of the pod. Add vanilla flecks and the bean to the milk and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the vanilla pods and pour the mixture into the cocoa mixture whisking into a frothy mixture. Add the pure chocolate extract and cognac. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate. For a great froth, steam the finished beverage with a steam (cappuccino) attachment on your espresso maker.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Skin Care and Your Wedding

Just got engaged? Congrats! Diamond on your finger, excitement reigns, so what's the first thing to think about?  Well one of the first things you should think about is your skin care.  Yes, skin care. Yours, your mom's, your bridal party's.  Start now with a good skin care regimen so that you will all have glowing skin when you say 'I Do.'  Contact your local Avon Rep for skin care for everyone in your bridal party and every age group.  You'd be surprised how much you can change the look of your skin in just a few months with consistent and careful skin care using quality products.  Avon offers their Anew line of skin care for every age group. It's pre-designed so you can choose the depth of skin care you need.  Avon also offers great makeup choices for your wedding day.  Talk to an Avon Rep about the perfect makeup for your wedding day. For easy orders online go to:

Avon and I are wishing you a beautiful and happy wedding day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Considering DIY, Read This

I was browsing bridal sites thinking "of course I CAN DO something myself" when I can across a blog post on Indie Bride ( where the editor details her attempts at making cake pops (which btw, don't LOOK that hard!) Her pics detail just WHY I don't do it MYSELF, because I am just plain BAD at it.  Anything I did would come out looking like a project the local nursery school kids made.  So don't beat yourself up if you just aren't a DIY'er, some of us have other talents.  But just to prove it, I'm going to try to make those cake pops just to see if it's as bad as it sounds, I have a feeling it will be, but at least if I'm only doing it as an experiment failure won't mean a ruined wedding!  For those of your brave enough to try the dreaded cake pops by Bakerella, post and let me know how you do, it's always good to have feedback! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Your Shoes Event Design at Lovesick Expo at The World Cafe Live

The Wedding Queen had the pleasure of meeting Joelene Museousky, the owner and founder of In Your Shoes Event Design at the Lovesick Expo in Philadelphia

Not only does Jolene have the training to plan your event but she offers you her extensive experience helping brides plan their big day.  She offers you a variety of packages to suit every budget and need and helps with everything from basic planning to day of assistance or planning your entire event. 

Visit her web site at to browse through the options she offers and take the time to visit her Facebook page as well.

If you are a bride who is getting married in 2013 and lives in Philly, Brooklyn, New York, Boston or Washington DC look for the Love Sick Expo dates in your city. I'm a HUGE fan. This is one of the best events for Philly brides.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rainy Day Weddings -- No It's NOT a Disaster IF You Plan Ahead

Photo courtesy of

Every bride dreads looking outside on the day of her wedding and seeing leaden skies and rain pouring down! But while it might not be what you were hoping for there are ways to minimize the problems it can cause.  Don't forget, the French believe that a wet wedding means a happy marriage.  Some things to consider:

Consider wearing bright colored rain boots under your dress to get from the car to the church and to walk into your reception hall.  These bright boots are available at stores like Target and can make a colorful statement on a gray day!  You might want to think about purchasing some for your bridesmaids as bridesmaid gifts if you are anticipating rain.  Or consider putting your white shoes on after you get into the church or reception hall saving the material on your shoes.

Photo courtesy of

Purchase some colorful golf umbrellas in advance to protect you from the rain and for your ushers to use to walk your guests to their cars.  A rainbow of umbrellas with dry guests under them can bring brightness to a day of gray weather.

If you're planning an outdoor reception have a backup plan in case of rain.  No one is guaranteed a sunny day or a rain or snow free day.  Be sure to have a backup venue just in case the weather doesn't cooperate with your planning.  Also be sure all your vendors have plans in case of rain.  Some may need different equipment if it rains, you may need to provide a tenting for a planned outdoor wedding.  All this has to be planned in advance. 

Be sure your hair and makeup are weather-proofed.  Waterproof makeup and some heavy duty hair spray can help keep things under control.    Also be sure to have a makeup bag so you can reapply makeup at your reception if needed. 

Find out if you can get dressed at your wedding venue to help protect your wedding gown.  Many churches and reception halls have bride's rooms where you can dress and get ready.  If it's pouring rain this may help protect your gown from rain.  Carefully pack your gown so it doesn't get wet while transporting it.  Your bridal store may be able to help you by providing bags to cover your gown. 

Make signs that say "Rain, Rain" and another that says "Go Away" for the bride and groom to hold while they pose.

These and many more ideas can turn your wet and gray day into a creative and imaginative wedding day, full of fun photos and a smiling bride and groom.

Suggestions For Photo Locations

Photo courtesy of the Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens at:

While most of us are familiar with Longwood Gardens, getting in there to take wedding photos is a major hassle.  But another option is the Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens located in Devon PA.  Visit their web site and check out all the possibilities.  Their web site offers you photos of the Gardens during each season so you can view which flowers and trees would be available on your wedding date or for engagement photos.  Professional photographers only and they have to pay a fee but it looks well worth it.  Even if you aren't planning on using it for your wedding it's a great place to visit with your husband to be.

All photos courtesy of the Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens at:

The Great Bridal Expo--Philadelphia Style

The Great Bridal Expo is one of the largest bridal shows traveling the country.  (  The Wedding Queen and her representatives attended this event on Sunday at the Loews Hotel on Market Street in Philadelphia PA.  The Expo was an incredible mob scence.  Lines of brides and their mothers or bridesmaids filled the halls waiting to get in to see vendors.  One big plus for this expo is the fashion show offered showing a variety of bridal gowns as well as tuxedos and bridesmaid attire, unfortunately there were far too few seats for the attendees.  People were either turned away or walked out, or were sitting or standing in the aisles.  A good suggestion would be to have two fashion shows during the Expo so that all those attending at least had a chance to see the show. Many vendors were so overwhelmed with brides that they didn't have time to do more than hand out information and ask brides to move on. 

Some great vendors were The Quadrangle at Penn whose tablet presentation offered brides a quick view of weddings as well as some gorgeous large posters highlighting their venue.  Other good booths to visit included The Hard Rock Cafe and The Chart House, both of who had reps that offered a quick but concise overview for interested brides.  The makeup artist who was there did a great job but she could have used an assistant or two.  Least favorite booths were the tuxedo reps who are the used car salesmen of bridal shows, pushy and annoying, some of them blocking the aisles so you couldn't get past them without talking to them. 

Given the choice I'd suggest going to some of the smaller bridal shows where you get a chance to really get some good info.  Last year's show at the Villanova Conference Center stood out as a great show.  Small enough to interact with vendors but with a lot of good info especially well showcased were the DJs.  Also offered was a florist who gave good tips for DIY brides as well as suggestions for services she could offer.  So look for smaller shows at venues that interest you.  Also not a bad idea to take along your groom. Most of all have a fun while you pick up all the info you can even if it's just who you don't want to use.