Easy Ways to Keep the Costs Down When Planning a Summer Wedding

Easy Ways to Keep the Costs Down When Planning a Summer Wedding

An average American couple spends more than $26k on their wedding. That’s a huge amount of money, which could be better used as a down payment on a house or a lump sum payment on student loans. Despite the cost, many couples get carried away when planning their wedding. They see celebrity weddings and think “I want this too!”

It’s understandable, of course. Who doesn’t want a glass palace in their back yard or a dreamy ceremony on an idyllic beach in Mauritius? We all do, but sadly, most of us can’t afford to spend a fortune on the big day. We might be willing to pay extra for a ‘design your own ring’ service because an engagement ring is very important, but when it comes to designing a bespoke wedding ceremony, the cost is very much at the forefront of most couples’ minds.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a huge wedding. In fact, evidence suggests that the more a couple spends on their wedding, the more likely they are to get divorced within a few years.

The problem with opulent, expensive weddings is that it is easy to lose sight of why you are getting married. Marriage is a massive commitment. This is your chance to shout out to the rest of the world that you love this person above all others and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Nobody walks down the aisle lightly, or at least they shouldn’t. Whether you are religious or not, marriage is not something you should take flippantly.

Once you start getting carried away with planning a huge wedding, the true meaning behind the ceremony is lost. You turn into Bridezilla and start obsessing over cakes, wedding dresses, rings, and guest lists. A simple wedding rapidly turns into an expensive ceremony and reception for 600 guests, most of whom you barely know from Adam. Is that really what you want?

If money is no object, then, by all means, spend as much as you like on a wedding. However, if you are up to your eyeballs in student debt and struggling to find enough cash for a home down payment, then read on for some tips to help you save money on your dream wedding.

Rings

You need three rings: an engagement ring, and two wedding rings. Since your rings last forever, this is not a time to look for a bargain bin steel band. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, so the more you spend, the bigger the diamond (if that’s what you want).

One way to save money on rings is to look for vintage rings or use a family heirloom. Plenty of couples re-purpose a family ring as an engagement ring. Do you have a beautiful ring passed down from your grandmother? If so, have the ring re-sized and turn it into your engagement ring. The fact it comes with a history only makes it more attractive. You can add your own history to the ring before passing it down the family tree to your daughter or granddaughter one day. How romantic is that?

Bride’s Dress

For a bride, the wedding dress is a critical part of the whole ensemble. After all, all brides want to look fabulous on their wedding day. They want to be the center of attention for all the right reasons. Wearing the right dress is crucial, but with couture wedding dresses costing tens of thousands of dollars, you may be wondering how on earth you can look beautiful without spending a fortune.

The good news is that you don’t need to blow your budget on a dress.

Your first option is to wear a wedding dress worn by your mother or grandmother. Don’t expect a modern style, but depending on the age of the dress, you could end up with a charming vintage gown. The dress may need a few tweaks to make sure it fits you perfectly, but paying a seamstress to carry out alternations is a lot cheaper than paying for a wedding dress from a bridal store.

The second option is to look for a second-hand wedding dress. For this look on eBay or Gumtree. Most wedding dresses have only been worn once; some haven’t been worn at all, so you could snap up a bargain. Check the details of the listing carefully before you buy, to ensure the dress is the right size. If the dress is pre-worn, have it professionally cleaned so it looks and smells fresh on the big day.

Bridesmaids

If really you want to keep costs down, avoid asking ten of your best friends to be your bridesmaids, or suggest they pay for their own dresses. Alternatively, look for some cheap bridesmaid dresses online.

Bridesmaids don’t need to have matching dresses. Choose a color and look for dresses that suit the bridesmaid’s body shape. Plenty of bridesmaids are happy with simple dresses bought off-the-peg that can be used again, which helps to keep the costs down. Your bridesmaids don’t need to follow you down the aisle in yards of silk and satin. The simpler their outfits are, the more you will stand out.

The Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are a significant part of a wedding budget. A three tier hand-made cake can easily cost several hundred dollars or more, depending on how elaborate the design is. Instead of paying a wedding cake store to bake you a bespoke cake, ask a relative to do the honors in lieu of a wedding gift. As long as they are handy in the kitchen, you should end up with a tasty cake.

You can also save money by opting for a sponge cake instead of a traditional fruitcake, but you won’t be able to have a multi-tier creation. If you are not too fussed about a traditional cake, create a cupcake tower instead. Frosted cupcakes decorated with flowers will look fabulous.

Venue

Booking a wedding venue is going to set you back a lot of money. Most hotels and wedding venues are expensive. The best way to save money is by having your wedding reception at home or somewhere that’s free.

Clearly, that is going to be difficult if you want to invite 500 guests, so to keep costs down, trim the guest list to close relatives and close friends. You need to sit down with your fiancé and work on the list together. Remember the rule: no ring, no bring. Banning kids from the ceremony will also save you money, but be aware that you risk upsetting couples with children, as they might not be able to organize childcare.

Once you have a guest list, start thinking about whether you have the space to have your reception at home. For a small and intimate gathering, a reception at home is perfect. Tidy up the garden, borrow extra chairs and tables, and string up solar lights for when the sun goes down. If there is any chance the weather won’t be suitable for an outside party, look at hiring a small marquee. You don’t need to splash out on a crystal palace like Pippa Middleton. Ring around a few local marque companies and see what deals they have. It will be far cheaper than hiring a venue for the day.

Decorations

Wherever you elect to hold your wedding, the venue needs to be decorated. Again, there are plenty of ways to save money on table decorations, flowers, and anything else in keeping with your theme. Fresh flowers are expensive, so unless you can harvest a large number of blooms from your garden, consider using fake flowers or dried flowers instead.

Brides often discount the idea of fake flowers because they look cheap and nasty, but if you look in thrift stores for silk flowers, you may find more than enough to create some pretty floral garlands. Use ivy and other greenery to embellish your floral displays. Create small posies for each table using handpicked herbs and dried flowers. If you have children, ask them to help make decorations, such as paper garlands or paper flowers. Weave string lights into your garlands and light candles in the garden. It will look super pretty once the light fades.

Food and Drink

Professional caterers are not cheap, so the best way to save money is by preparing your own food and drink. For a summer wedding, a BBQ is perfect. Alternatively, roast a hog over a spit and provide bread buns, dips, salads, and a range of desserts.

To keep the cost of alcohol down, buy in kegs of beer rather than trays of cans. Make your own homebrew or wine and create some exciting fruit punches using whatever alcohol you have to hand. Throw in some chopped up fruit, and it will be tasty and refreshing. Don’t forget to provide soft drinks for anyone who doesn’t drink.

With the right preparation, you can have a fabulously cheap – and memorable – summer wedding!

Wedding Wednesday: Invitations

Wedding Wednesday: Invitations

This week for Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share with you my thoughts and some tips on wedding invitations.  In this post I am going to cover the basics of invitations, like when to mail them, who gets them, how to address them and more.  Be sure to take notes or save this post for later because you will visit it over and over again.

wedding wednesday

This is a sponsored conversation in partnership with Wedding Paper Divas. Any opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.

Giving Notice with Save the Dates

There is no such thing as too soon in terms of sharing your wedding dates with those you plan to invite. Depending on the location of the wedding and if guests will have to travel from around the country to get there it may be wise to send a Save the Date.

Wedding Paper Divas - Save the Dates
Photo Credit: Wedding Paper Divas

The general rule is to mail out save the dates four months prior to the wedding, but in the case of destination weddings or having lots of traveling guests, the sooner you send them out the better.  Giving guests time to plan and budget for any travel is very helpful.  When it comes to choosing a Save the Date, you can choose to mail a paper copy or an electronic version.  They do not have to match your formal invitations, and you should only mail them to people you actually plan on inviting to your wedding. The save-the-date should include the couple’s names, wedding date (or dates, for a wedding weekend), location (a city is helpful, even if the venue isn’t booked yet) and a notice for a formal invitation to follow.

What’s Included on the Invitation

All invitations should include the who, when, and where, so your guests know all the details so they can plan accordingly.  The three W’s are:

  • Who. Include the full names of the bride and groom. For a formal invitation, include the full names of the hosts, too.
  • When. Clearly list the time, date, month and year of the event.
  • Where. Include where the event is taking place, with a full address (zip code not required).

Wedding Paper Divas - Wedding Invitations

There are several factors to consider when addressing your invitations and choosing what wording you’re planning to use on them.  Wedding Paper Divas has a invitation wording generator to help you find the right words to include on your invites.  Another important feature to consider is including useful information that guest could use including, attire, directions, accommodations, and activities.

Addressing the Envelope

What you choose to put on the envelopes is also very important.  Here are some great tips for addressing wedding invitation envelopes.

  • Guests’ names should be written in full, with appropriate social titles included (i.e. Mr. and Ms.).
  • Spell out all words in an address and spell out house numbers less than 20.
  • The return address traditionally goes on the back flap and in many cases they’re still handwritten, you can also choose return labels instead of handwritten.
  • Keep in mind that responses and gifts will likely be sent to the return address on the invitation. If you’d rather have them sent to a different address, list it below the RSVP line and your wedding website.

Choosing an inner envelope also gives the couple the opportunity to address whether or not kids are invited, or if someone who’s single is invited has the option to bring a guest.  If you do not plan to invite children to the wedding, do not include their names on the inner envelope of the invite.  It’s also a good idea to spread the word before hand with guests that you do not plan to have children at the wedding.  If you invite someone who’s single, if they can bring a guest, address the inner envelope with their name with the addition of (+Guest).  If they are not allowed a guest, simply address the inner envelope to just that person.  Inner envelopes shouldn’t include first names or addresses of guests.  It should just include their title and last name (Mr & Mrs Stephens).

When to Mail Invitations

Formal invitations for the wedding should be mailed no later than six weeks prior to the wedding, in the case of destination weddings you will want to give your guest more notice and mail those no later than three months prior to the wedding.

When to Cut off RSVP Dates

Be sure to cut your RSVP date at least three weeks prior to the wedding.  You will need to get a final head count for your caterer for the reception and this will also give you time to work on seating charts and making place cards for your tables.  If you have problems with guests that didn’t RSVP in time, designate a family member from both sides to call those guests to find out their intentions. Be firm with your dates so get a final head count to your caterer as soon as possible.

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If you have more questions about invitations check out this great Q & A from Bridal Guide.  It covers all the basics and more about invitations for your special day.

Wedding Paper Divas Free Samples Coupon

Get a head start on planning by ordering samples from Wedding Paper Divas.  Click on the banner above get 10 free samples with code 10WEDSAMPLES.

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Wedding Wednesday: Unforgettable Wedding Gifts from Society6

Wedding Wednesday: Unforgettable Wedding Gifts from Society6

I’ve slacked on my Wedding Wednesday posts, so this week I wanted to share some special items with you.  I was contacted by Society6 about placement in my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.  I hopped on their website and I immediately knew I wanted to feature them on my blog, the hard part was finding the right item.  After about an hour on the site I decided on the Duvet Covers.  Society6 provided me with a coupon code to buy my Duvet Cover, and include in my guide.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

society6-logo

Society6 features original artwork from artist all around the world.  Products are made from the highest quality of products and are sold and shipped to you on behalf of the artist.  Society6 allows artist to sell art studio quality prints, cell-phone cases, tote bags, and more without giving up control.

Sole Society (9)

When I was looking for a duvet cover for our bed.  I started to search the duvet section and found a this cover called Botanic Wars by Josh Ln on the first page.  I was drawn to it design but I continued searching looking for more designs that I loved.  I ended up finding great options but I was still really wanted to get this one for us.  After an hour going through different designs I ended up where I started with Botanic Wars.  Ordering was a breeze and Society6 kept me updated through the entire ordering process through to shipping of the cover.  It arrived to my house in about a week or so.

Sole Society (1)

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I loved how Josh included the elements of Star Wars throughout the duvet cover, along with the floral prints.  It was a perfect match for my husband and I.  We both got something we love.

Sole Society (3)

Sole Society (4)

To get your old duvet in, just unzip along the side of the duvet and put your old duvet inside the case and just like that it’s refreshed and like brand new again.  Duvet covers are just one of the things I discovered on Society6.  Here’s some other great products that would make fantastic wedding gifts.

Wall Tapestry

Wall Tapestries are great for decorating and adding some flair to a home.  This one is the Lights, but there are lots of other great selections to fit anyone’s taste.

Throw Pillows can be used to decorate various spaces, this one in Botanical Wars would be a great addition to the duvet I shared above.  You can create a personalized bedding set for the newly weds.

Rectangle Pillows are new at Society6 but they also make great gifts as well for decorating and adding style to your home.  I like them because they look a little bigger than the regular square pillow and they are different.

This Wall Clock is absolutely beautiful.  It’s the perfect reminder to see the world and it’s another great gift idea.  I would love to see this on my wall.

I’m a huge fan of Canvas Prints, most of ours are of our family but there are some amazing paintings on the Society6 website.  This is called Intimacy on Display and it’s the perfect way for new couples to show the world they love each other.

Visit the Society6 website for more gift ideas for the home, and the new couple.  Also be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Make Valentine’s Day Special with Trudeau

Make Valentine’s Day Special with Trudeau

In our home each year we celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family.  It started when one year my husband and I went out for dinner and it took an hour to get a drink, almost everything we ordered was out of stock and the service was horrid.  That year we thought going out the night after Valentine’s Day would be better since most people were out the previous day, well we were wrong.  Since that year we have decided to instead spend the time celebrating with our children at home.  Each year we dress up and I make a nice dinner for us to enjoy.  We get small gifts for the kids and cards for the whole family.  We call it Stephens Family Love Dinner.

Family Love Dinner 2014

I love planning our family love dinner because it gives me the opportunity to try different options and this year I can’t wait because I am adding Fondue for an appetizer and for dessert as well.  We received a brand new Trudeau Copper Fondue set for review and to share my thoughts with my readers.  I think it’s a great opportunity to try something new for our dinner this year.

Trudeau Copper Fondue Set

Trudeau Copper Fondue Set

About the Trudeau Copper Fondue Set:

This sleek and stylish fondue set is build to LOVE. A fun and festive way to serve delectable cheeses, savory meats and scrumptious chocolate, the Lumina with its copper finish makes fondue the main event. From top to bottom, the set has an array of impressive features. The tri-ply copper pot offers superior heat conductivity and comes equipped with a ceramic double-boiler insert for either cheese or chocolate. Its polished 18/8 stainless steel interior is easy to maintain and clean.  The stainless steel fork guide keeps fondue creations in place for those rests between Valentine’s Day kisses!   Set includes a copper and stainless steel base, six color-coded stainless steel serving forks, a cool-touch safety burner with cover, and a recipe booklet full of tips and techniques to LOVE fondue.  MSRP $149.99

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This set is a beautiful set that includes everything you need to create a delicious fondue.  I even received the gel for the burner from Trudeau.  We have everything we need to make something great. The set arrives in pieces in the box.  The bottom stand is a copper/silver stand.  There is an outer copper pot and the inner ceramic pot where you cheese or chocolate goes to get melted.  The top copper ring can be used to hold the serving forks when not in use.  You don’t have to use this portion if you don’t want to.  The burner is a small steel pot with a short handle that is easy to remove from under the main pot.

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I like that the serving forks are color coded.  At the start of making the fondue each person gets their own fork and you never have to worry about it getting mixed up with anyone else.  Trudeau even takes the guess work out of finding a good recipe by including a booklet with basic starter recipes.  Romance has never been this easy.  I could see this being a great wedding gift as well.  Newlyweds can easily skip those expensive fondue restaurants and use this unit.  It’s built to last and it looks very fancy.

trudeau fondue set
Photo Credit: Trudeau

If you’re still planning your Valentine’s Day dinner or looking for a great gift for a couple, I recommend the Trudeau Copper Fondue Set.  Visit the Trudeau website to learn more about this set and all their other amazing products.  Be sure to get social and follow them on social media – FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Honeymoon Hotels in the US from Hilton Worldwide

Roadtripping in PA

Honeymoon Hotels in the US from Hilton Worldwide

This week for Wedding Wednesday I am sharing with you about honeymoon hotels around the United States.  All these properties are in the Hilton family so if you’re a member of their rewards program this is a great time to earn some points.  If you’re not a member of their rewards program, I’ll be adding a link at the end for you to join to start earning points now any hotel stays between now and your wedding/honeymoon.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, making a purchase may help towards supporting my blog.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque Hotel & Spa

Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque Hotel & Spa

Hampton Inn & Suites Kenosha

Hampton Inn & Suites Kenosha

Kenosha is a thriving city conveniently located halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Their close proximity to General Mitchell International Airport and O’Hare International Airport makes traveling throughout the area effortless. Explore downtown Kenosha on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan. With museums, restaurants, and a famed Saturday Farmers Market, it’s the perfect place to spend the day. Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets boast over 90 stores including Nike and Restoration Hardware. Other Kenosha attractions include Frank’s Diner, The Jelly Belly Factory Store, and Harley Davidson. Corporate guests will appreciate our convenient location near Snap-On, Jockey, and Uline’s world headquarters.

Hampton Inn & Suites Augusta West

Hampton Inn & Suites Augusta West

Relive the era of classic Southern charm and hospitality, alive and well to this day in Augusta, Georgia’s second largest and oldest city. The Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in Augusta-West, located near the main gate of Fort Gordon, is a comfortable, convenient connecting point to the wonders of this historic city. Play a few rounds at one of the nearby golf courses, or shop a few rounds at the Augusta Mall-all within minutes of our hotel in Augusta. Stroll along the Riverwalk Augusta, which offers access to the Savannah River from a public plaza. This Augusta hotel is also conveniently located near the Augusta Museum of History as well as the Fort Discovery Science Center. For arts and culture, visit the nearby Augusta Civic Center, or catch a ballet or symphony at the historic Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown

Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Charlotte

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Charlotte

Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City/Bayfront-Convention Center

Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City/Bayfront-Convention Center

Located on the Bay, the Ocean and Beach are just steps away and the famous three-mile boardwalk is just a few blocks South The Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City/Bayfront-Convention Center hotel is conveniently located midtown Ocean City, MD boasting its modern flair and unique style, but still true to the Hampton everyday touches you receive when staying with Hampton Inn’s. Our beautifully appointed 100% non-smoking guest rooms and suites feature microwaves, refrigerators, flat screen televisions and in room safes; all with private balconies so you can take in the morning sunrise or the evenings beautiful sunsets.

Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge

Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge

The Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge hotel in Tennessee, is located just off the Parkway, in the heart of downtown Pigeon Forge, only 4 miles from Dollywood and Dolly’s Splash Country. Our Hampton Inn hotel offers the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains as well as the convenience of all the restaurants, shopping and attractions that Pigeon Forge has to offer. Come visit “The Center of Fun in the Smokies” at the Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge Our Hampton Inn Pigeon Forge hotel features spacious guest rooms with modern decor and all the conveniences for today’s traveler.

Hampton Inn Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach

Hampton Inn Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach

Hampton Inn Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach Sail back in time with a voyage to Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach, a historic beachfront community that proudly embraces its rich heritage as a Victorian seaport village. While here, make safe harbor only one block from the beach at the Hampton Inn Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach-a hotel that offers the passion and service to make your voyage a memorable one Bask in the colorful traditions of Amelia Island, the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry where shrimp boats regularly depart the docks. Stroll the beaches to witness whales calving in the fall and sea turtles nesting in the summer.

Hilton Anchorage

Hilton Anchorage

This Anchorage hotel is a convenient ten-minute drive from Ted Stevens International Airport, and within walking distance of the Alaska Railroad Depot and Anchorage Convention District. Explore Anchorage’s popular attractions including the Alaska Museum of History and Art, the Ulu Factory, Nordstrom and the Fifth Avenue Mall – all only two blocks from the hotel Enjoy a comfortable stay in a stylish guest room featuring thoughtful amenities and high-speed internet access to help you stay connected with family and business. Dine in the inviting Hooper Bay Café and savor a variety of authentic Alaskan and American cuisine. Unwind in Bruin’s Bar and catch up with the latest sports and news in this welcoming hotel bar. View the extensive Alaskan art collection in the lobby and enjoy a self-guided walking tour Stay active during your stay with an energizing workout in the fitness center and refreshing swim in the indoor pool before unwinding in the steam room.


Be sure to check back for more Honeymoon Hotels in the US from Hilton Worldwide in my Wedding Wednesday Series

Exclusive Wedding Paper Divas Discounts

Exclusive Wedding Paper Divas Discounts

It’s Wedding Wednesday again and I couldn’t wait to share with you some exclusive affiliate discounts I have from Wedding Paper Divas.  I’ll be sharing my regular post as well but I couldn’t pass up sharing these savings with my wedding planning brides.

Wedding Paper Divas Wedding Day Needs - Programs, Menus, and more

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 12/31/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 15% off using the code WPD15OFF at checkout. There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Wedding Paper Divas - Holiday 2015

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 01/19/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 20% off Wedding Suite orders of $149 or more or 25% off orders of $249 or more, and enjoy up to 200 free custom envelopes with free printed return addressing using the code WS25JAN at checkout. Merchandise must total $149 or $249 or more, respectively, before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for promotion to apply. Free offer applies exclusively to custom envelopes and printed return addressing with custom envelopes. The up to 25% promotional offer applies exclusively to wedding invitations, response cards, enclosure cards, and reception cards and is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Wedding Paper Divas - Holiday 2015

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 01/19/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 15% off thank you card orders of $75 or more or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code THANKU20JAN at checkout. Merchandise must total $75 or $99 or more, respectively, before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for promotion to apply. Offer applies exclusively to thank you cards and is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Wedding Save the Date Magnets

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 01/19/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 15% off save the date orders or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code SAVE20JAN at checkout. Merchandise must total $99 or more before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for the 20% off promotion to apply. Offer applies exclusively to save the dates and is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 01/19/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 15% off program, menu, place card, table card, napkin and coaster orders or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code DAYOF20JAN at checkout. Merchandise must total $99 or more before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for the 20% off promotion to apply. Offer applies exclusively to programs, menus, place cards, table cards, napkins and coasters and is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Coupon Terms: Offer expires 01/19/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 15% off party invitation orders or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code PARTY20JAN at checkout. Merchandise must total $99 or more before taxes, rush processing, proofs, shipping and other charges for the 20% off promotion to apply. Offer applies exclusively to party invitations and is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Weddingpaperdivas.com and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, clicking them and making a purchase helps support this blog.

Wedding Wednesday – Things to Do Ten Months Before The Wedding

Wedding Checklist of Things to Do 10 Months Before Wedding

Wedding Wednesday – Things to Do Ten Months Before The Wedding

So you’ve said yes picked your date, now it’s time to starting thinking about what you have to do next.  This week I’m covering the checklist of things you do at least ten months or more before your wedding.

Wedding Checklist of Things to Do 10 Months Before Wedding

Announce Your Engagement

One of the first things you need to do is announce your engagement.  With social media these days, I don’t think people ever miss this step.  I saw some many engagements on my Facebook timeline during the holidays.  Regardless of how you choose to make your announcement though it’s a great first step in planning your wedding.

Figure Out Your Budget

Before you start planning or spending anything regarding your wedding first make sure you know your budget.  Having a firm budget before planning helps you make the best decisions about where your money will be spent.  Weddings can be very expensive, a good way to keep it under control is to have a good budget.  Here’s a free download from Aisle Perfect to help get you started with budget planning.

Select a Date

Once all the excitement of the engagement is over it’s time to set the date.  I suggest having a few dates in mind when you’re planning.  My reason for that is going to come later in this post.  Being flexible in the early stages of planning is good.

Choose Your Wedding Party

Finding the right group of people to help you celebrate your big day is very important.  Getting the wedding party together early is key to a successful event.  Give your wedding party as much time as possible to get their finances together for the items they are required to purchase or rent for the wedding.  Be sure to have back ups in case someone can’t participate or needs to drop our for whatever reason.

Create a Guestlist

Creating a guest list may be one of the most difficult parts of planning a wedding, next to making the budget.  I’ll be sharing an entire post dedicated to the process of inviting guests to your wedding.

Cinnamon Tree Restaurant at Hunt Valley Inn

Start Looking for a Venue

Finding the right venue is very important in the wedding planning phase.  Narrow down you list to your top three to five places and visit as soon as possible.  Once you find the two you like the most check their availability with your desired date.  If your top choice isn’t available it’s important to have alternate dates you can pick from.  This is where flexibility comes into play, to book the venue you really want, you may have to change your date.  Do not set a firm date until you have booked and secured your venue for the ceremony and reception.

Book Your Ceremony Location and Rehearsal Date

If you’re not having your ceremony at the same location as your reception be sure to book that as soon as you book your venue.  Lock in your rehearsal date and time as well.

Start Shopping for your Wedding Dress

Shopping for wedding dresses take time and I recommend looking as early as possible.  Dresses off the rack may require alterations and modifications so shopping early is the best solution.  When I purchased my wedding dress I was lucky that I didn’t need to have any alterations but that’s not always the case.  I’ll be sharing much more about dresses over the next couple of months.

Set Up Your Wedding Website

My first post in this series had information about getting a wedding website.  Wedding Paper Divas helps couples by offering a free wedding website.  They can even set it up to match your wedding invitation if you order them from their website.

Send Out Save the Date Cards

Once you have a firm date send you Save the Date Cards to potential guests.  It’s a good way to get the date in front of people as early as possible so they can start looking at possible travel and booking hotel rooms.  The earlier you send your Save the Dates the better.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for more wedding tips.  I’ll be sharing more of the wedding checklist items.

 

Wedding Wednesdays Tips for Planning Your Big Day

Wedding Wednesdays Tips for Planning Your Big Day

So you’re engaged!  I know there are lots of people getting engaged around this time of year.  Christmas and Valentine’s Day are both popular days for engagements.  This year my husband and I celebrated eight years of marriage.  Our first wedding was very small and intimate so I want to plan a vow renewal for our tenth anniversary in two years.  I plan to share all kinds of wedding gems with you in my new series called Wedding Wednesdays.

wedding wednesday

So now that you’re engaged you’re probably wondering what’s the first step.  When I got engaged I started my quest online to create a timeline of what I needed to get done.  Get a Free Wedding Website from Wedding Paper Divas.  The site will help you get started with sharing your special day with the ones you love.  While the engagement is still fresh it’s best to set up your dating story.  The site can be customized to match your invitations and even accept RSVPs if you order your invites from Wedding Paper Divas.

Next it’s time to start looking at a date, finding the perfect date will open up the doors to all your planning.  You can secure your venue and start with save the date cards for your potential guests.  Once you have a firm date, next it’s time to ask your wedding party to participate in your wedding.  You could ask them before or after you set a date but the sooner you know who’ll be in the wedding party the better it will be for them to start preparing for their expenses for the wedding.

Wedding Paper Divas - Holiday 2015

Weddings are expensive so save as much as you can by getting freebies and samples before making final decisions.  Get Free Save The Date Cards from Wedding Paper Divas before you pick a final card so you know just what you’re getting.  Be sure to check back next week for more wedding tips.

Celebrate Special Occasions with Leer Vineyards in 2016

Celebrate Special Occasions with Leer Vineyards in 2016

I’ll be ringing in the new year tonight and I hope I can make it to see the ball drop.  For the past two years I fell asleep well before midnight.  As a matter of fact I don’t recall the last time I made it to see that ball drop on television.  Recently I had the opportunity to include Leer Vineyards in my holiday gift guide.  Celebrate special occasions with Leer Vineyards in 2016, their wines help support wounded warriors.

leer vineyards

Leer Vineyards donates $1.50 of the purchase price per bottle of wine towards the purchase of a tax and mortgage free home for a wounded warrior.  I love products that give back so this is a huge bonus for me.  Knowing that supporting this company helps supports wounded warriors as well.  Now all your celebrations or even the glass you have for dinner helps with a good cause.

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I received a bottle of the Heroic Red and Valiant White from Leer Vineyards.  I love white wines but I actually really enjoyed the red from Leer.

Heroic Red shows aromas of boysenberry with hints of leather, cedar and cigar tobacco. Flavors are of raspberry jam, chocolate and black pepper, with a faint echo of blake tea on the long finish. This blend contains 58% Syrah, 29% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Valiant White shows aromas of peach and orange blossoms, the circus flavors are intense, peaches and tropical fruits dominate. It’s a soft and luscious mouthful with a hint of effervescence for a beautiful liveliness and a balance to the sweetness. While crisp and sweet this Moscato is a perfect pairing with spicy seafood or chicken and is amazing while paired with bleu cheese and desserts that include pears or peaches.

Cofféy is the official spokesperson for Heroic Red/Valiant White and his song Mr. Red White and Blue is inspirational and powerful.  Check out the video above.

About Leer Vineyards

Leer Vineyards is nestled in East Contra Costa County in the town of Byron complete with stunning views of Mount Diablo that features a tasting room and will host summer concerts as well as weddings, private parties and corporate events. The property is a unique 44-acre parcel that boasts a softball diamond, Bocce Ball court, snack bar, and 36 acres of lush vineyards.   Leer Vineyards is a quiet, relaxing piece of property that encourages picnics, lounging, and simply hanging out with a glass of wine!

Shop Shutterfly for Unforgettable Gifts

Shop Shutterfly for Unforgettable Gifts

Christmas is less than a week away, and you may have already wrapped up all your shopping for the holiday.  Honestly I never feel like I am completely done shopping, I am always thinking of something else I can add under the tree for my family and loved ones.  This year I partnered with Shutterfly to share gift ideas for the holidays.  I received a gift certificate to purchase items showcased in this post.

Shop Shutterfly for

While shopping on the Shutterfly website I noticed how much the site has grown in regards to their gift options.  Originally I was only looking for teacher gifts for the kids teachers and for my son’s classroom aides.  It didn’t take long for me to quickly realize that I could get so many more gifts and not just for the holidays either.

Wedding Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this year, it’s in December so it always takes a back burner to the holiday.  This year thanks to Shutterfly I was able to get some great items for my husband to celebrate our anniversary.  I even shared with you Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas to cover the first ten years of marriage.  All with products you can find on Shutterfly.

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Two things I found to gift my husband was the Mason Jar Mug and the 16 picture collage.  I loved adding photographs of us over the years to show how much we’ve changed.  They were both big hits with him, he loved them both.

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I also shared with Teacher Gift Ideas with you from Shutterfly.  I fell in love with their design studio idea on the site.  It was easy for me to design the mug of my choice and use Shutterfly’s professional quality images.  This option alone will take your gifts to a whole new level.

I was able to create something different for each of my children’s teachers.  I let them pick the design so it made them feel special about making the mugs and they’ll be even more excited about gifting them.  I even opted for the gift boxes for an additional $4.95, and added chocolates for $9.99, making it so much easier on me once they arrived.  They were ready to be wrapped or placed in a gift bag.

Jewelry Gifts

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I have to suggest you check out Shutterfly’s Jewelry Gifts.  I think these were the most surprising of off the items I purchased from the site.  I ordered the initial bracelet for my niece first and then went back and ordered one for myself, a necklace for my daughter and I just placed an order for a customized Autism Awareness Necklace for myself.  I’ve been blown away by the high quality and beauty of these items from Shutterfly.  The bracelets arrive in gift boxes ready for gifting.  The necklaces arrive in gift pouches.

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I loved all my gift from Shutterfly and if you’re looking for unforgettable gifts then be sure to check out them out.  They are more than just photo prints and calendars.  While it may be too late for Christmas, Shutterfly has gifts for all your special occasions.  Be sure to check back for more gift ideas.

Cinnamon Tree Restaurant Anniversary Dinner Experience

Cinnamon Tree Restaurant Anniversary Dinner Experience

Later in the summer, right before school started back, my husband and I had the opportunity to discover a hidden gem in Hunt Valley.  Cinnamon Tree Restaurant at the Hunt Valley Inn has been in our neck of the woods for a while and we weren’t aware of it at all.  Since we were celebrating our eighth year of marriage this month I wanted to find something special, Cinnamon Tree was the top choice on our list.

Cinnamon Tree

We were fortunate enough to get a reservation on our actual anniversary.  When we arrived the restaurant manager was waiting for us to arrive and quickly seated us in the same spot we sat at during our first visit.

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Hubby started off the night with a mixed drink.  This one was different from the last one he tried.  We then choose our appetizers for the night.

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My husband went with the Sweet & Sour Calamari this time.  It was even better than I remembered and the aioli was even better than I remembered it from the first time.

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I went with my favorite the She Crab Soup, I knew I wanted it the moment I set up our visit back to Cinnamon Tree.  It was just as delicious as I remember and the bread was to die for.  I would visit this restaurant every day just to enjoy a bowl of this delicious soup.

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I wanted the salmon since the last time we visited Cinnamon Tree so it wasn’t hard when it was time for me to choose my entree.  I choose the grilled salmon, the salmon is covered in a dijon mustard sauce.  My sides were steamed asparagus and au gratin potatoes.  The salmon was absolutely delicious, it was tender but firm, and seasoned to perfection.  My asparagus was steamed to perfection, and tossed in a light buttery sauce.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the au gratin potatoes, it was softer than I expected but had a cheesy creamy taste.  The portion was larger than I expected so I ended up taking home half of the salmon portion, most of the potatoes and one piece of asparagus.

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My husband wasn’t sure what to order so he asked Jinhua, the restaurant manager for her recommendation.  He was torn between seafood and steak but couldn’t decide.  Jinhua recommend the lamb shank curry.

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The lamb shank is braised and served with a side of basmati rice.  When the plate arrived my husband didn’t know how to approach it.  The lamb just fell off the bone, he started by taking bites of the lamb, cabbage mix and rice.  It was simply one of the most delicious thing we’ve been tasted.  I grew up eating curry all the time in Trinidad but this wasn’t like any curry I’ve ever tasted in my life.  It was seasoned to perfection.  It wasn’t spicy at all, you could taste the hint of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.  I couldn’t stop asking my husband for bites of his food it was that amazing.  When the chef came out to talk to us we asked him quite a few questions about this dish.  Jinhua hit this recommendation out of the park.

 

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For dessert we both went with different options than the first time we visited.  My husband opted for the Pecan Pie, a southern favorite.  He just loved the pie.  He commented on how it tasted like something homemade he would enjoy during the holidays.  I had the hot fudge brownie.  It was very rich and chocolaty.  If you’re a huge fan of chocolate, you’ll just love how decadent this dessert was.

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Before ending out dinner, Jinhua found out it was our anniversary and offered us a champagne toast.  It was the most beautiful way to end a perfect dinner.  Here’s to year eight and many, many more.

If you looking for dinner plans throughout the holiday season and into the new year, Cinnamon Tree Restaurant has special menu options just for the holidays.

  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Dinner: Santa might pass on the milk and cookies you leave out in favorite of a 3-course meal at Cinnamon Tree. Enjoy Chestnut Soup as an appetizer to warm up from the cold winter weather, followed by a tender Grilled Ribeye Steak with a Madeira Reduction or a Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin with Black Cheery Sauce for dinner. Forget about icing a cake, instead order a Crème Brûlée for dessert.  (Seatings from 4-8pm; $39.95 per person)
  •  New Year’s Eve Dinner: Kick off your New Year the right way, with a glass of bubbly at dinner! Those who make a reservation at Cinnamon Tree will be provided with one complimentary glass of champagne per person. Enjoy a (well-priced) 4-course meal with decadent dishes including a Filet of Beef Rossini Foi Gras with Black Truffle and a Madeira Wine Demi-Glaze, or the Peppercorn Crusted Duck Breast with sautéed Sweet Potato Gnocchi and a Pomegranate Reductio . (Seatings from 5-9pm; $68 per person)

Disclousre: Cinnamon Tree Restaurant provided my husband and I complimentary dinner in exchange for this post, any opinions expressed are my own.

 

Ebony Ornaments and Figurines from Pavilion Gift

Ebony Ornaments from Pavilion Gift

Ebony Ornaments and Figurines from Pavilion Gift

Last year when I realized that my family’s Christmas Tree was filled with glittery bulb ornaments that would break easily.  I realized while putting up our tree that none of it told our story as a family.  There were no ornaments from the kids first Christmas, none for special moments, or favorite characters of the kids.  That’s when I made the decision to add ornaments that had special meaning to our family.  Ones that could last years and be passed on our children.  I recently found some of the most beautiful ebony ornaments and figurines from Pavilion Gift, and I knew I wanted to add them to our story.

Ebony Ornaments from Pavilion Gift

Disclosure: Pavilion Gift provided me with the Mother & Daughter Ebony Angel Ornaments for inclusion in my Holiday Gift Guide.

It’s rare to find ebony ornaments and figurines around the holiday season.  I found this mother and daughter ebony angel ornament and I knew it would be the perfect addition and a great story to add to our tree for my daughter and myself.

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The ornaments arrived in boxes so they are easy to gift.  You can just wrap the boxes or remove from the box and gift in a gift bag.

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Both ornaments about 4.5 inches tall, they are very sturdy and well crafted.  The Ebony Mother Angel Ornament has a silver and ivory color theme.  She’s holding a heart close to her chest.  The hanging string on both ornaments are bronze.  The Ebony Daughter Angel Ornament has a bronze and ivory color theme, she’s holding a butterfly in the palm of her hands.

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Both of our ornaments already found a home on the tree.  They will be apart of our tradition for years to come.  My daughter will hang hers first then I get to hang mines.  Once she’s older and married with her own family I’ll be passing them on to her so she can share it with them.  These beautifully crafted ornaments are great for gifting, both ornaments fall below the $15 price mark.  The mother ornament costs $12 and the daughter ornament costs $13.

These were just two of pieces I found and fell in love with on Pavilion Gift.  Here’s some of my favorite items from the site and I think would be perfect for the holidays and special occasions.

This beautiful ornament is great for gifting to friends of all ages, I could see this as a gift my daughter gives to her friends or one I gift to one of my friends.

This Nativity Scene is absolutely beautiful, I just love how detailed they are with showcasing this iconic scene.

I love this angel because it’s holding the poinsettia flower in her hands.  She’ so pretty and I just love her wings.

Another beautiful figurine to display during the holidays or all year round.

I just love her, the design is magnificent.  I love the red cloak they added to her and her wing design is amazing.  She’s absolutely beautiful.

This ornament reminded me of something you would see at a wedding.  I love it because I got married in December so these would be perfect for decorating your winter wedding or gifting to your bridesmaids.

These are just a few of the options on Pavilion Gift, be sure to visit their site to view the entire collection if you’re looking for one of these beautiful pieces.

Give the Gift of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

Give the Gift of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

Last year I had the opportunity to review one of Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornaments.  I choose Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  I shared about why I choose this ornament and the special meaning it had to me.  So far we’ve added two more ornaments from Hallmark to our tree.  This year thanks to Hallmark I have the opportunity to add another very special ornament to our tree.

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Hallmark provided me with this Keepsake Personalized Ornament for review, any opinions expressed are my own.

Hallmark offers twenty-five ornaments that you can personalize.  They include popular options like Mickey and Minnie, snowmen, crosses, mini houses and you can create ornaments for your favorite photographs.  When I was choosing the ornament I wanted to add to our tree I wasn’t sure what to choose.  I thought about the Mickey for one of the boys, but didn’t want to pick one over the other two.  I thought about Minnie for my daughter or maybe one of the snowmen.  I event considered the photo ornament.  Then I thought about my wedding anniversary and I knew immediately what I wanted to add to the tree this year.

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I saw this beautiful wedding cake ornament and knew I wanted to have it for this year.  My husband and I are celebrating eight years of marriage this year.  Since it’s so close to the holidays we usually keep things simple.  I wanted to get this ornament as a keepsake for me and my husband.  We’ve been slowly adding ornaments that have special meaning to our tree instead of the regular bulb decorations.  These are ornaments we can pass on to our children so when they have their own tree they can look back and remember hanging them on our tree as children.  This is one that will stay with us for life.

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The ornament has a small bronze metal plate that contains the personalize text you choose.  For us it’s “Nicki & Steve – December 15, 2007”.  Our wedding day.

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I haven’t hung this ornament yet.  My husband and I will hang it on our anniversary this year and every year in the future.  I just love this ornament.  It’s simply beautiful and it would make a great gift for winter brides and newly weds.

Hallmark’s Personalized Keepsake Ornaments range in prices, starting at $14.99.  My Wedding Cake Personalized Ornament was $29.95, you can score free shipping if you choose to have your ornament shipped to a Hallmark store for pick up.  If you’re planning on ordering one of these ornaments you have to hurry.  The cut off date for standard shipping to receive in time for Christmas is December 12th, and December 17th for two-day express.

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Thanks to Hallmark I have a one code for a lucky reader to create their own personalized ornament.  To enter visit my Facebook page and like & comment on this post.  Then leave a comment letting me know that you commented.  Giveaway ends December 12th at 12 PM EST.  Good Luck.

Rosewill Air Fryer – Holiday Gift Guide

Give the Gift of Fried Foods from Rosewill

I’ve been looking for healthier ways to feed my family.  We try to limit take out and when I do cook I stay away from fried foods.  My kids love chicken nuggets and fries, when I make them at home it’s usually in the oven.  They come out good that way so we didn’t think there was a way to make them better besides frying them in oil.

rosewill

Rosewill a leading manufacturer of home appliances and consumer electronics, recently expanded its home product line to include several new products.  Thanks to Rosewill I was able to review the Rosewill 2.4 Liter Low Fat Oil Less Air Fryer.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when it arrived but I couldn’t wait to try it out.  

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The air fryer arrived in the box ready to go.  All you have to do is just wash out the basket by hand with warm soapy water.  Let it air dry.  Use a wet cloth to wipe the interior and outside before use.  The top panel of the fryer has temperatures and times for popular items that you would probably use the fryer to cook.  I love how easy it is to use and that there’s a cheat sheet on top of the  machine for my convenience.  There’s also a booklet with even more detailed instructions for frying.

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When you plug in the fryer it shows the temperature and the time.  Use the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the temperature and time.  Once you have the time and temperature you need pop in the basket and you’re ready to cook.

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The basket is a decent size and it can hold a decent amount of food.  I was able to make enough nuggets to feed three kids making one batch in the basket.  I didn’t stack mines on top of each other to make sure they cook evenly.  I also wouldn’t recommend adding the foods layered on top of each other to make sure it cooks perfectly.

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My nuggets went in frozen in the basket and I followed the booklet included in the box.  I made sure I put it on the counter top and kept it clear of anything else around the unit.  It does get every hot on the outside so be careful when taking your food out of the fryer and especially if you are putting more food back into the fryer.

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My nuggets came out crispy and tender.  They were not greasy or full of oil and they didn’t dry out like they can in the oven.  Even after the kids ate and left one on the plate it was still crispy and tender an hour later.  I’ve never had this kind of success from the oven or even frying.  They were perfect.

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Next up were the frozen fries.  Again I didn’t fill the basket with fries, I used about a half a bag of fries for the kids.  I suggest seasoning your fries before putting them in the air fryer.  That way you don’t have to worry about it once they are done.

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My fries came out crispy and perfect.  I didn’t have to worry about them being in grease and they didn’t dry out like they tend to when in the oven.  They all cooked evenly and it was just perfection.

Next I’ll be trying to fry chicken in the air fryer to see how it works but it has been great for me so far.  The Rosewill RHAF-15001 Oil Less 1100W Low Fat Air Fryer, 2.5 quart/2.4 L, Black online from Amazon for $89.99.  They would make the perfect gift this holiday season.

Anniversary Gift Ideas from Shutterfly

Anniversary Gift Ideas from Shutterfly

In less that two weeks my husband and I will be celebrating our eight wedding anniversary.  We had a small private ceremony with just a few family and friends the day before a big winter storm was heading into Baltimore.  It was small and intimate.  I’ve been talking to my husband about renewing our vows for our 10th anniversary.  Since it’s so close to the holidays our anniversary usually takes a backseat to Christmas.  This year I had the opportunity to work with Shutterfly on a post featuring holiday gift ideas for teachers and I decided to also squeeze in some goodies for the anniversary.

Wedding Anniversary

Disclosure: This post contains affilate links, if you click and make a purchase I may earn a small percentage.  Shutterfly provided me with a gift card to purchase some of the items in this post.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

Wedding Paper Divas - Holiday 2015

Shutterfly and their sister site Wedding Paper Divas offer lots of amazing options for weddings and their photo gifts section is the best place to start when you’re looking for amazing gifts to give your spouse for an anniversary gift.  I’ll be sharing gifts for the first ten years of anniversaries that you can easily find and personalize at Shutterfly.  These are the traditional gift ideas for wedding anniversaries in the US.

Year One – Paper

Shutterfly - Holiday 2015

Year one is the paper gifts year and a photo book is a great gift idea for your spouse.  You can fill it with photographs of your first year of marriage, your wedding, or even your dating years.  It’s all up to you how you decide to fill the pages with memories from you past.

Year Two – Cotton

woven blanket

These woven blankets are perfect for snuggling up with when it’s chilly out.  You can design it anyway you like and since it’s made from cotton it’s a winning option for the second year anniversary gift.

Year Three – Leather

journal

The leather journal can be used to write down your thoughts, keep important notes and dates, or just about anything you want to use it for.  It’s also great for the third wedding anniversary gift because of the leather cover.

Year Four – Linen/Silk

parisian elegance sham

Linen is the suggested gift for the fourth wedding anniversary and these monogrammed linens are the perfect gift and addition to your linen collection.  It’s a great way to celebrate your union, all while adding style and flair to your linens.

Year Five – Wood

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Wood is the gift for year five, if you plan to use the traditional suggestions.  I choose this beautiful sixteen space wood picture frame as a gift to my husband this year.  In it are photographs of us over the years.  I loved looking at all the pictures of us over the years and seeing how we’ve changed.  I think I’ll do a family portraits one the next time I plan to make the frame.

Year Six – Iron

Champagne Sheen

Year six is iron and these ornaments are great gifts that can also be used to start family traditions.  We are slowly building our ornament collection with special additions that have special meaning to our family.  This is also a tradition you can continue each year, adding and building signature pieces you can pass on to your children.

Year Seven – Desk Organizer (Modern)

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I added this modern gift idea to the list for year seven.  It’s recommended that you give gifts of desk sets or pen & pencil sets.  This set is perfect for organizing your desk while admiring your spouse, kids or family.  I just love the sleek and modern design.

Year Eight – Linens (Modern)

I’ve shared linens before but Shutterfly has a nice selection of linens on their site including pillow shams, blankets, duvets, throws and more.

Year Nine – Pottery

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When I think of pottery I think of glasses and mugs.  There are lots of options to choose from on the Shutterfly including photo mugs and mason jars like this one I picked out for my husband.  He’s from the south so when I saw these mugs I knew I wanted to get him one for our anniversary.  He favorite mug broke earlier this year so this will be a great gift.

Year Ten – Tin/Aluminum

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Metal prints are starting to become very popular and for the tenth year of marriage you can surprise your spouse with a collage of memorable metal prints showcasing your life over the years, how your family have grown or relive your wedding day.

Remember to shop Shutterfly for all your gift needs whether you’re shopping for an anniversary, the holidays or just purchasing prints of your favorite photos.  They have you covered.

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