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Monday, March 18, 2013

Champagne Goes Pink For Your Wedding

Photo courtesy of Jessica's Country Flowes
Sometimes drinks look as good as they taste! Try these raspberry champagne cocktails decorated with a gorgeous sprig of mint! Serve them in champage flutes and float some fresh raspberries in each one.
While previously pink champagne was seen as inferior to white champagnes, pinks or roses are seen as the perfect way to celebrate romance or weddings.
How do you make white champagne pink? Ah! Tricky that. One way to make your white champagne pink is to add some red wine to the white champagne. Depending on how much red you add the depth of color may vary. Winemakers suggest using wines from the same area as the white champagne you are planning on using.
Another way to turn the champagne from white to pink takes place while the wine is still fermenting. If the winemaker leaves the skins of the black grapes used to make the champagne in the vat, the skins will dye the champagne to a pretty pink color. This practice is harder to control and isn't used as frequently today as adding red wine.

While many vintners make pink champagne, the only true champagne comes from grapes grown in an area of France called Champagne that is northeast of Paris. Wine experts consider only champagne made in this area to be 'true champagne.' But this doesn't mean you can't enjoy champagne made in other areas of the world.

Take some time to taste test a variety of champagnes you'd like to serve at your wedding and then consider if you're interested in pink champagne or even the new blue champagne, Blanc de Bleu, made in California.

Then choose some pretty champagne flutes to serve it in. A pretty champagne flute can add eye appeal to a less expensive brand of champagne.

If you're going pink, consider adding some raspberries and mint or strawberries and float them in the glass. Even pomegranites can be used. Going blue? Try some blueberries on a skewer or some blackberries and mint. Sometimes the garnish is as important as choosing the right champagne. So salud and enjoy.

Insurance and Your Wedding Rings

Photo courtesy of Ringspotters

You just got that sparkling new engagement or wedding ring and may think that it's loss or repairs are covered under your renters insurance or homeowners insurance. Think again. Not all insurance policies cover the loss of your rings or the repair of your rings. And while you may think, "hey diamonds are really strong, they never need repairs" you could be wrong. Generally it's not the diamond itself that needs repair, it's the prongs  holding it in place. Or if you have smaller diamonds surrounding a larger center stone these are more likely to get loose and end up lost.

Face it, none of us can afford to replace diamonds no matter how small they are! So be sure to read all your insurance policies carefully and talk it over with your insurer. You may need to purchase a jewely rider to cover your rings. 

What is a rider? A rider is an addendum to your policy that you pay a small additional amount for that covers specific items. Sometimes jewelry, sometimes collectibles. Although the cost of purchasing the rider may not be high, the cost of not having a rider may be. Often you can put all your jewelry on one rider, so you will just need one for all the jewelry in your household, not one for  your rings and one for his.

Where can you get a rider? Your personal homeowners insurance company or renters insurance company may sell them or you can purchase one through your jeweler who may sell policies by Jewelers Mutual that protect your rings.

Depending on your personal risk tolerance and the cost of the rider and your ring, your better bet might be to put money away monthly in an account set up as an 'in case of' loss or damage account instead of paying your insurance company, sit down and figure out which is the best choice.

It's way too easy to take off your ring and set it next to a sink when you are washing your hands and oops! there it goes down the drain! You may not ever realize it's gone until it's too late. While some drains may catch your ring, I wouldn't want to depend on it.

Or you could walk away and leave it behind. Unfortunately a less than honest person might find it and be wearing your sparkler as I write this. Or one of those little prongs break and your diamond literally falls out. No more diamond! So cover yourself with a rider on your homeowners or renters policy.

So read your policies. Talk to your agent. Get that rider. And you can relax and enjoy wearing that gorgeous ring.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DIY Wedding Cupcakes

Video courtesy of YouTube by Simply Sweets by HoneyBee

Many brides today are opting for serving a variety of wedding cupcakes instead of a large, multi-tiered wedding cake. Simply Sweets by HoneyBee posted this great tutorial on their website as well as on YouTube to teach even the most klutzy baker how to make gorgeous cupcakes that would be perfect for a wedding.

She not only shows you how to do it but explains which type and brand of tip to use (a lifesaver for the non-professional bakers out here!) and shows us what the tip looks like (in case you have drawer full and can't quite remember which one does what.

My personal favorite is the first one she shows, but a combination of these would make a perfect display for your sweet table. You could alternate cupcake flavors as well as icing designs and make it look like you'd hired the Magnolia Bakery to ship your cupcakes to your venue. Nothing like serving the creme de la creme of cupcakes (or at least what look like they are) at your wedding reception.  (as an aside, if you want to order your cupcakes and have Magnolia's catering department will ship wedding cupcakes to you they have an option for those of you who are not DIYers.)

You can either serve these to your guests in lieu of a slice of cake or your can provide boxes for your guests to take home their own remembrance of your wedding day to eat later. One favor that never gets left behind is a cupcake.

Choose some easy take out boxes for your guests or have one of the reception staff box up cupcakes to hand to your guests as they leave. You should have one cupcake per guest, not per couple.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fruit For Showers

Photo courtesy of Our Best Bites
Looking for something pretty to serve at a bridal shower? Or as a late night snack at your wedding? Head over to Our Best Bites, a great blog where you can get the step by step directions on how to make these yummy desserts for yourself. Makes me hungry just looking at them! YUM!