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Pinterest Worthy Eggs

Growing up, my siblings and I rarely had junk food. My mom's idea of a treat was mixing corn flakes and rice krispies together (which I HATED). One year, on a hunt for Easter eggs, I gleefully plucked a pink egg out of the grass to find that they were filled with carrot and celery sticks. "Why can't we have regular candy like the other kids" I whined for about a week straight. My mom tried to appease me the next year by making Jello Easter eggs. At that time, I thought she was just as crazy but looking back, she was genius (don't tell her I said that).

While Jello Easter Eggs are super kid friendly (they even make Easter egg molds), you can take it in a sophisticated direction and make it pinterest worthy pretty. Here's a little recipe to make brunchy dessert eggs that can double as name cards for a bridal or baby shower. Here's what you'll need:

 

First, prepare your eggs:

Using a fork tine, poke a small hole at the top of your egg. Use food safe scissors to create a larger hole to empty your egg. Place eggs in a separate container and set aside for cooking later. Clean inside of the egg shell carefully with warm water and set in the original paper mache container to dry.
To make the jello, I snagged the recipe off the Kraft website:
1-1/4 cups  boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
1 pkg.  (8-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor
1/2 cup  cold milk
1 pkg.  (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla or Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding

1. In a bowl, add the boiling hot water to the jello powder. Mix and leave to cool to room temperature, about 1/2 hr
2. 5 minutes before the jello mixture has cooled, make your pudding mixture. Add the milk to the pudding, stir until thickened and evenly mixed.
3. Add the pudding to the cooled jello mixture.
4. Stir until thoroughly mixed and it's a beautiful creamy consistency!
Now, fill your eggs using a container with a spout for easier pouring:
While the eggs are solidifying in the fridge, create your eggs holders by taking strips of paper and stapling or taping to create a ring:
Peel the top portion of the egg shell off and add a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream. Top with berries of your choice. You can also use a sharpie to write the names of your guests and place each one at their place setting.
HAPPY BRUNCHING!!!

 

Sweet Setup (Part 2): Custom Dessert Station

DIY Dessert stations are popular for good reason—they’re customized to each couple’s tastes and look great for pictures! However, it’s pretty easy to go overboard and end up spending just as much or more on a dessert table as you would on a traditional cake. Our second blog of this short series goes over a few sweet dessert table tips (pun intended)! 

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  • Don’t over-order!: Treat your portions like a potluck. For example, if 10 people are going to a potluck, they don’t each bring enough food for 10—they bring enough for maybe 3. The idea is that the more options there are, the more variety each guest will consume. Usually estimating that each guest will consume between 3 and 5 pieces of the different desserts on the table is a good guideline to follow. Just do the math for your own wedding and estimate lower if you think your guests will eat less (e.g., if it accompanies a very large meal) and estimate higher if, say, guests may be on the hungrier side and eat more sweets. Based off of what you estimate per person (let’s say you think each person will eat 5 pieces of different desserts each), take that number and add "2" or "3" to get a range for the TOTAL KINDS of desserts or options to have on the table. 
  • Keep items bite size: Again, people will take a sampling. Make your dollars stretch and ask for servings to be on the petite side! Also consider whether your dessert table items need to be cut or handled as your venue’s insurance policies may not be able to allow you to bring in knives or cutting utensils. That sounds a lot more intimidating than it really is—simply ask your venue whether you can have guests cut things themselves.
  • Create filler: This is something floral designers do to make their bouquets fuller while adding color and visual interest without breaking the bank: smart use of fillers! In the land of dessert tables, have a few containers of less costly, but beautiful items such as candies in your wedding colors or jars of your fave small store-bought cookies. No, they won’t be the stars of the table, but they’ll give guests options while adding color and texture to your tablescape design.
  • Something(s) borrowed...: It might be nice to have that beautiful antique platter you’ve been eyeing, but chances are one of your friends who just got married will have something comparable for free. Ask around and try to furnish your table with coordinating borrowed items instead of purchasing everything on your own!

Got any tips to add? We'd love to hear  them, so just leave us a message in the comments below! Cheers =)

Sweet Setup (Part 1): Have Your Cake…

I'm sure you all know the different ways you can save money on your wedding--decor, dress, and flowers, just to name a few! But one major money-saver that most overlook is...CAKE! Cake for weddings, like most things wedding-related, will often run you several dollars per slice, which adds up as your guest count rises. It’s hard for us to quote an average price for cake because it depends on so many factors, including headcount, how elaborate the details are, the type of cake, and whether you have to pay that annoying cake cutting fee! 

If you’re definitely set on having a traditional wedding cake, here are some things to consider:

  • Buttercreams vs. Fondants
To save some $$$, you can choose buttercream cakes over fondant cakes. Fondant cakes are popular because they can have very elaborate detailing and decorations, BUT the material takes hard work to roll out, which means more $$$ for you to spend.
One of our favorite things to do is a tried and true idea: get a simple white buttercream cake with NO decoration and add on your own fresh FLOWERS (separate DIY coming!). It’s cheaper, and if you use the same flowers from your bouquets and arrangements, it provides a nice cohesive look :)
  • Mini Cakes for Cutting
Consider getting a small cake for cutting and pictures but serve a less expensive sheet cake for the rest of your guests. It’s the SAME cake in terms of taste, but just made in flat pans so there’s less labor involved, and cheaper for you!
  • Cupcakes(!?)
These have become super popular over the past couple of years, but be forewarned: they can only save you money for weddings of smaller sizes—after a certain point, it becomes more expensive than traditional cake. Do the math before you commit! 

 

And whether you choose to have a conventional cake or not, watch out for our next “Sweet Setup” blog post, which will focus on different ways of setting up a dessert table! Here’s a sneak peak from one of the our team member's wedding dessert table project :)  

2014 Oscars Edition: Fashion and Beauty Roundup for Your Wedding Inspiration

Tis’ the end of award season! A little sad to see all the great beauty and fashion go, but let’s discuss Oscars 2014. In my opinion, the best dressed celeb is best leading actress Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) in that gorgeous light blue, flow-y gown and fresh pastel makeup—very Cinderella-esque, no? The plunging neckline may be too deep to be wedding-appropriate, but we’ve put together some of our favorite fashion and beauty looks from the Oscars for your wedding inspiration!

  1. Champagne and Sparkles. We talked about jeweled wedding dresses being a 2014 wedding trend, but it seems like jeweled gowns are all the rage at the Oscars as well. Also, the champagne and flush color palette is definitely a go-to wedding dress color for the nontraditional bride. If we were to take one celeb’s look straight off the red carpet to the wedding, it would definitely be Cate Blanchett’s—from the timeless makeup and hair to the sparkly gown to the jewel statement earrings.
  1. Smokey and Nude Makeup. We saw some bold, dark lips this Oscars, but the winning look is the smokey eyes with nude lips. This isn’t the traditional black and metallic smoke that we tend to steer away from for the big day.  Instead, use matte nudes, taupe, and browns with a touch of metallics where necessary and a whole lot of black mascara. Finish up the look with a nude, pinky lipstick.
  1. Sideswept Hair with Soft Curls. This hair style looks great with or without a veil. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style and is surprisingly easy to do yourself, DIY brides! Jessica Biel is another great straight off the red carpet look for weddings—again, another sparkly champagne, nude number.

And there you have it! Head to toe academy award makeover for your wedding day :)

What’s your favorite Oscar look? 

Do you need videography? 3 Things to Consider

No, you don’t NEED videography. 

But, really, how many of us out there really NEED a wedding? Or the dress that breaks the budget a bit but makes us look just a teensy bit more beautiful? (You're already beautiful ;) ) We are firm believers that your loved ones and your future life partner are really all that matter for that day! Everything else is just icing on the proverbial cake.

That said, we grappled with the idea of investing in this extra expense. Who were we to spend more money on a luxury on TOP of how much we were already spending on photography? Well, here’s some advice after talking to a few videographers:

  1. Pros & Cons: Make a list of pros and cons and then make another list of pros and cons, and then another. In the end, if you’re finding that the list doesn’t matter because one “pro” greatly outweighed all the cons, then take that into consideration—the idea of capturing the bits and pieces of special moments that photography sometimes can’t may matter quite a bit to some (yours truly included).
  2. Budget: So as not to be wasteful and frivolous, revisit the budget and place videography somewhere on your priority list (higher priority = higher budget)—in other words, don’t just tack it onto what you’re spending already. Even if you can afford it, this is a good exercise to help you stay grounded and reevaluate what you and your fiancé most value. Luckily, if videography ends up higher than other items, you can consider DIYing a few items that can save you some money on decor.
  3. Look for a Story: Now, if you’re at a point when you know that you want those memories to be caught in motion, really start looking at video samples for someone who can do that. We’d say this (maybe it’s too biased): don’t be too dazzled by fancy effects and camera tricks! Rather, look for videography that tells the story of the bride and groom and their big day. Unless your wedding is a total music video (kudos to you if it will be!) fancy lights and editing will make you look cool, but might just miss the sweet little moment you had with your flower girl or that moment even you missed of your great-grandma wiping away a tear. Plus, you have still photographs to make you guys look as amazing as you are, so make sure the money you spend on videography serves a different purpose. 

Hope this helps--let us know your thoughts on this! 

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It's raining in Los Angeles (CRAZY)! If you're stuck with bad weather, entertain yourself with these wedding videos that will convince you that videography is a necessity. Enjoy :) 

 

5 Tips: Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photography

Hate to be bad news bear, but unless you have a super talented friend with a great camera, good wedding photography does NOT run cheap. Sorry, there really is no way of negotiating your way out of this part—regardless of how much you’re willing to pay, you need to do your due diligence and get the most out of this investment :)

  1. Own your moments (Literally): When selecting a photographer, make sure you ask them whether their contract allows you to fully own your photographs—that means, you can print them on your own and have access to all the original files. This is good to know as some photography contracts only allow you to print through that particular photographer!

  2. Be specific about your shots: I thought this was a no-brainer and because I trusted the photographer we hired, I didn’t go into much detail with him about what I wanted (mainly this was to give him more creative license. Plus, I wanted to be that really chill, cool bride.) and regretted it. For the most part, the pictures came out fine—more than fine—but I wish I had more candid shots of my adorable, precious flower girls getting ready. Or I wish I had images of the DIY details I had slaved over for months (I’m talking hand made runners, centerpieces, and personalized note cards for every single guest, including kids). Sadly, I didn’t get any of those captured. Learn from my mistake, brides! List out the shots you know you’ll want, even if it sounds obvious to you.

  3. Ask about the second shooter: This might be a better tip for those of you still deciding on your photographer. If you have more than one person shooting your big day, ask about the second shooter. More often than not, this is usually who will run around capturing detail shots of your tables, your florals, your jewelry, while the main photographer focuses on the bride and groom. Try to get a sense for their level of experience. If you’ve already chosen the photography team, just make sure you specify that you want those detail shots (see #1 *sadface*)

  4. Be cognizant of TIME: Yes, you’re paying them mucho bucks, but they can't read your mind or make the impossible happen. Most of the time, they depend on a reliable timeline and plan their shooting around that timeline. Please be considerate and make sure they have the most up-to-date timeline, and please ask them for their input about the timeline as it affects photography.

  5. Artificial vs. natural lighting: When you have a mix of artificial and natural lighting in a space, photography becomes a bit trickier. You don’t need to worry about the technicalities of this so much but do run it by the photographers, so that they can be prepared to deal with it on the day of. What’s a good example of this? My cocktail hour venue had big industrial lights in addition to a skylight. Not ideal, but the photographer knew what to do! 

Lastly: be kind. This is probably more of my own opinion than a true tip, but I do believe that these people are taking part in a really precious day of your life. As much as the day is about you and your soon-to-be-spouse, it’s not going to be as special without the talent and help of a team of people. They’re working a long day lugging around heavy equipment—a simple smile and thank you will give them a nice energy boost!

We're lucky to have Wedding Photographer Ms. Joanne Leung on our shoots :) 

5 Dresses Under $500

Fill in the blank: “Weddings are ____.” 
More likely than not, “expensive” was one of the first words to pop into your head. Well, ladies, we understand. That’s why we’ve scoured the stores and web to find you some budget conscious dresses that don’t compromise on style. They’re all items we’d personally love to wear and all cost under $500! And, really, even if you don’t end up buying one of these, we just want to give you some hope that affordable options DO exist!

1. Jill Stuart Lace Column Dress $318
Classic and well tailored, this dress lives up to the designer’s namesake. It’s not categorized under wedding necessarily, which is why the price point is significantly lower! Check it out at local Nordstroms if you can!

2. The Annabelle from BHLDN $260 
We’re pretty shocked that this dress is $260. It’s actually listed as a bridesmaids dress and comes in a bunch of different colors if you’re interested in a non-white frock. What’s more, you ask? It also has adjustable tulle sashes that blends into the dreamy skirt, which lets you configure your gown however you’d like on the big day!

3. The Bettina Gown from J.Crew $450
Simple, clean, classic--just like the brand itself. This A-line is flattering and is can often be found off the racks in stock! Call a store and ask for a fitting and availability.

4. Swiss Dot Gown by Galina for David’s Bridal $399 
As far as swiss dot gowns, this is a STEAL. The fabric itself is fairly pricey and usually layered to add volume (hence more fabric costs). We love it because it’s feminine and sweet, and adds some glamour without being overly “diva”. 

5. Mori Lee Lace Gown ($499) 
We love Mori Lee’s lace dress in a halter and mermaid cut with subtle train. Beautifully tailored and comes with the jeweled belt! 

5 Tips to Make Your Valentine's Day Flowers Last Longer

Valentine’s Day is near! Near as in… TOMORROW! Hope you’re receiving and gifting fabulous bouquets :) Just because romance typically dies down after Valentine’s Day (sad) does not mean your flowers should! Here are 5 easy tips to help your flowers last longer and look more beautiful, without breaking the bank:

  1. Flowers need sustenance: If you don’t have any more “flower food” (those packets of nutrients that usually come with bouquets) and don’t want to buy any, then you can make your own! All you need are 2 cups of Sprite + ½ tsp of bleach + 2 cups of warm water. Feed and change concoction every few days.
  1. Style your flowers: Don’t you hate it when the buds lose shape before the blooms even start to wilt?! Well, your hairspray can fix that problem! Give them a light spritz to preserve your Valentine’s bouquet.
  1. Flowers have enemies: I know your flowers look amazing on your table/ counter, but do avoid placing them near ripening fruits or vegetables, especially bananas and apples. These delicious little guys produce an invisible gas called ethylene that makes flowers wilt faster.
  1. Flowers need a drink too: Bacteria in vases do not just go away after a quick rinse, and they can kill your new batch of flowers. Other than washing your vase thoroughly with dish soap (something no one really does, right?!), you can add this concoction to your vase. Add one teaspoon of vodka to the vase water along with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Sugar provides nourishment and vodka kills the bacteria.
  1. No vodka? Spare a penny: The copper in pennies acts as an acidifier with antibacterial properties. Place a penny and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the vase water for longer-lasting flowers.

For more tips and tricks on how to care for and arrange flower bouquets, be sure follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Let us know what you’d like to see next time—flower care, DIY, and/ or event planning. We’re here to help! And...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY FROM BLOOMINOUS <3

 

 

DIY: Valentine's Dessert

In the spirit of quickly approaching Valentine's Day, we are featuring a DIY that can either be an after dinner activity or a surprise dessert. Because this holiday is so female-centric, this actually caters to the guys who are often overlooked during this day. Guys are all about epic portions, the novelty of uses of gadgets and gizmos, and of course - food! This project is certain to pique his interest and score you some points in the "Efforts" Department!

Introducing the DIY Mega Chocolate Bowl:

A few months ago I noticed on pinterest a cool idea using water balloons to make chocolate cups. I made some for my niece for her birthday party and filled them with berries and whipped cream. They were cute for a tea party!

As adorable as these are, they definitely wouldn't cut it for the average guy. So here are some easy steps to create your very own chocolate bowl for the mountain of ice cream and brownies that will be sure to please and fun to share!

Here's what you'll need:

 TIP: You can find chocolate melts at any Michael's or cake supply store. They come in different colors and flavors (like mint or white chocolate) so there are plenty of options to mix and match to suit your man! And for a quick fix, purchase brownies at your local supermarket's bakery section.

 Here's how to put it all together:

1. Use your balloon pump to blow up the balloon - we suggest an 11" balloon for a substantial bowl. Grab the plate that you will want to present your bowl on and keep it nearby. Melt your chocolates in a shallow bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir after each round until your chocolate has been fully melted.

2. Dip the bottom of the balloon first to create your base. Then rotate each side in the chocolate until you have created your bowl. It will naturally create a petal edge!

3. Decorate with sprinkles while the chocolate is still cooling. You can also use his favorite candy, sprinkles in his favorite sport's team color, coconut or even granola.

4. Let your chocolate cool and harden on your special plate - at least 1/2 hour. When the chocolate is good and sturdy, take the pin and pop the balloon!

After the balloon has popped, it will stick slightly to the chocolate: Carefully peel it off - for the small pieces you can also use tweezers:

Now the fun part! Fill your chocolate bowl with any flavor of ice cream, top with brownies, sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge, cherries or anything else you and your love desires. Mine was a simple cookies and cream with brownies:

 

 Here are some interesting combos if you need some ideas:

1. Strawberry Shortcake: White chocolate bowl dipped in dried strawberries, strawberry ice cream and pound cake

2. Mint & Chip: Mint chocolate bowl with peppermint ice cream and crushed oreos

3. S'mores: Chocolate bowl dipped in graham crackers, vanilla ice cream, marshamallow topping

4. Caramel Sea Salt: Chocolate bowl, vanilla ice cream, caramel topping with sea salt sprinkles. Add some fresh espresso grounds for depth

Have fun with it! :) 

 

7 DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas

Tis’ the season of love! Valentine’s Day is only a couple weeks away. What are you doing for your sweetie? If you’re on a budget or just feeling crafty, we have 7 fun and easy DIY gift ideas. Let us know which one you’d like to try :)

  1. The Triple B’s: Yes the BBB (Bacon Breakfast in Bed). Who can resist this delicious combination? We love Cool Mom Pick’s Valentine’s Day Breakfast Recipes, like the bacon hearts and egg in a heart. All you need are bacon, eggs, and toast!
  1. Bouquets aren't just for women (if they’re made with bacon): Oops…another bacon DIY idea #sorrybutnotsorry. Bacon roses are not only pretty to look at, but they're also pretty darn delicious. For a healthier option, use turkey bacon instead #butdont. 
  1. Fruit roll-ups fortune cookie: Song of the night? Daft Punk’s Get Lucky ft. Pharrell. Handwritten notes stuffed inside candy fortune cookies are a sweet way to list the 10 things you love about your sweetie. Better yet, create fortunes about your future together—vacations, honeymoon, wedding, etc!
  1. Bow tie for V-day AND W-day (wedding day!): Kill two birds with one stone—the DIY bow tie can be used for any occasion! So easy, so hip (ster), and so cute.
  1. Easy 10-minute tie camera strap—for the photographer in your life: Document your lives together in a fashionable way with this DIY camera strap made from his old tie. It’s practically free!
  1. Personalized wine, beer, or whiskey tasting: Create your own tasting with a DIY Chalkboard Tray for a romantic night in. This is also a great party idea with friends. Just add Cards Against Humanity and beverage of choice!
  1. Personalized mug or beer glass: You can customize matching mugs or glasses for your sweetie with just a sharpie and an oven. Design and bake at 350◦F for 30 minutes. This DIY project also makes great wedding favors. Fill each guest's personalized cup with sweets!
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