Fun Friday Finds: Blossom


Have you seen the new magazine by Amy Butler called Blossom? I think you will want to :)

Don't you love the name: Blossom...both a verb and a noun packed with meaning, and just a fun word to boot.

The magazine is beautiful. Plus, amazingly and generously...it is FREE.

Enjoy it here.

Happy weekend,

Ms Fish

Sneak Peak of Wedding Photos

Here is a video put together by my dad of some of the pictures he took of Jared and Janessa's wedding celebration. He got some GREAT shots. I love these photos. PS: That is my dad playing the music and singing too....! He is such a good, good man.


Wedding Wednesday: Style

Welcome back to another installment of Wedding Wednesday!

Last week, I talked about our wedding theme which had to do with B's and Bee's. Today, let's talk about style.

There are lots of wedding styles to choose from such as: vintage, modern, beach, classic, rustic. Sometimes a bride has a clear cut idea of what she wants the overall look and feel to be. Other brides might struggle to commit to one particular style.

The vintage style (in weddings and photography) has been very popular. It is easy to see why that has such appeal because getting decorations from Grandma, the attic or garage sales can be fun and fairly inexpensive. It is an eclectic style that is very forgiving if using a random collection of things.

However, Janessa did not want vintage, not only to buck the trend, but also because it just simply doesn't reflect her own sense of style and taste. She wanted clean lines: a modern, contemporary look. Her criteria was..... simple, elegant and timeless. This guided all of our decisions from the type of candles and votive holders to the paper products to the invitations to the centerpieces to the clothing for the bridal party.

Here is one example of how we used style to guide us. Some of our decorations were giant 36" balloons, which are classic and simple with a touch of fun. Shown below are two ways to use the balloons. Both are darling. But to keep things clean, in keeping with the style, we used a single strand of fishing line without any fluff n' stuff (ribbons, tinsel, glitter, etc). By the way, we rented a helium tank and had it on-site for blowing up the balloons.

Image credit

Image Credit

Another element of style...

Although the wedding was in the fall, and her color was orange, Janessa wanted her reception to be a classy party that just happened to be in the Fall. She did not want it to look like Halloween or fall back (haha...pun intended) on using autumn as a decorating crutch. (So...no pumpkins, leaves, berries, branches, etc.)

There were two things that really helped us pull this off. The first is we scored some great furniture for a conversation pit. Janessa was trying out our brand new KRAVE yogurt store and they just happened to have orange leather couches as part of their decor. Amazeballs!!


We really did.

We asked.

Lucky for us....the store owner had an extra ORANGE couch just hanging around in his garage (serious!) and he let us borrow it for the reception. So, so nice of him :)

We also purchased a simple, modern table from IKEA and borrowed two sleek white chairs from my cousin's sister to complete the look. I think these pieces really helped project a modern vibe.

The second thing that helped was to keep the decor scant and uncluttered.

Oh, and as few bows as possible.

Do you think having an overall style is important? What is your favorite style for a wedding?

What was the style of this great wedding?

Thanks for dropping by.

Lots of love,
Ms Fish

PS: Actual examples (photos) from the wedding will be posted as soon as we get them from our photographer. Coming soon.....


Next week Wedding Wednesday: The Dress


Perfectly round giant balloons purchased here
Orange couch found here
White coffee table purchased here


Thanksgiving Menu 2012

I love Thanksgiving.

I love the chance to pause and be grateful and gather with family.

And I fancy the food.

It is nice to know that the Thanksgiving Day Feast is an opportunity to relish old traditional favorites with all the comfort and familiarity of a worn pair of jeans.

It is also a wonderful time to embrace new recipes and be grateful for variety.  Most years, our table is crowded with the traditional stars: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy. But over the last several years, I've had fun introducing new dishes into our line-up. Sometimes, they don't catch hold and never make an appearance again. Others become fast friends.

 Like this, one of my new favorite fall desserts.

photo credit: mel's kitchen cafe
This year, we are going to my mom and dads, along with my brother's family. I have been assigned mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls.

Now, I love sweet potatoes, but I am toying with another option. What do you think? Should I stick with Vanilla Infused Sweet Potatoes or go bold with Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeno Cream?

My mashed potatoes this year will have a twist. For the traditionalists, I will make regular potatoes (with my secret ingredient....cream cheese). But I am also going to make a fancy batch with melted blue cheese, topped with caramelized onions and crispy bacon nubbins.

My sister-in-law is bringing a green salad and a vegetable. Can't wait to see what she does with those. She is a fun cook with beautiful ideas.

What will be your razzle dazzle this year? any new twists on old favorites? staying traditional? branching out? fancy? unusual? do you have a special stuffing recipe? cranberry sauce to die for?

I love to talk food. Please chime in...

Wedding Wednesday: Theme

Last week, I talked about the importance of organization to make things easier when planning a wedding. Of course, that really is a no-brainer.

But another crucial element, at least for me, is to nail down a specific STYLE and THEME. Both of these:

1. Make planning and execution easier
2. Help triage decisions. Narrow the field.
3. Gives an outlet / excuse for refusing ideas from outside sources you aren't really excited to embrace: "Yes, that bleeding armadillo groom's cake would be unique, but it just doesn't go with our theme...."

Most people have a certain style for their wedding or party, such as shabby chic, vintage, urban, romantic, etc. But people don't often have a theme.

What's the difference? Glad you asked. Let's do some parsing....because the theme and style are two very different components and serve two different purposes.

1. Emotes a certain feeling. Affects how people react and respond (both consciously and subconsciously)
2. Reflects your personality
3. Answers the question HOW and WHAT do you want people to feel when they walk into the event

The THEME, on the other hand:
1. Showcases deliberation and purpose
2. Justifies the style
3. Creates a sense of cohesion, organization and well-thought out planning
4. Reflects priorities
5. Increases personalization of the event
5. Answers the question WHY do you want people to feel what they will at the event

Whenever I plan a big event, I think creating a theme is important. For me and my taste, I like the results it produces.


For Jared and Janessa's wedding, we hashed around different ideas for a theme, taking into consideration their life as college students, their talents and hobbies, their interests, etc. Eventually, we settled on something that had great significance to both of them AND, importantly, provided lots of options for creativity.

It was all about the B.

We chose this for two reasons. The first one is obvious! Jared’s last name starts with a B.
The second reason is that Jared’s dad is a beekeeper and harvests his own honey. How's that for sweet?

(Embarrassing side note: at the wedding luncheon, I was explaining our theme and favor, and said that "the groom's father has hives." My kids just burst out laughing. Oops. No, he doesn't have a rash! (just a rash of beehives). Sorry about that faux pas, Don).


The BEE theme gave us a great scaffolding to work with. There were lots of references to bees in our invitations, logo, signage, decorations, and even little finishing touch details. (Photos to come as we work through each element of the wedding every Wednesday.)

First of all, I designed a honeycomb pattern in Photoshop (below) which became the basis for everything. It showed up on the address labels, invitations, favor labels, and reception decor.

Band used around invitation suite

Ombre roses and ranunculus arranged by Ms Fish and Jen Jensen

honeycomb band around rose flower boxes

The hexagon shape showed up in the table easels / stands for our signage and a quilt. Even the honey jars were hexagon shaped.

The bee theme was so fun and meaningful. Bees are really amazing, industrious little guys that give us some of the most amazing food on earth. Did you know honey is the only food product that will never spoil? Except maybe Twinkies. (Sad to see Hostess spoil, though their Twinkies never will :)

The hard working bee is a great symbol for Jared and Janessa's new life together, which will be sweet. And even sticky sometimes. It will require the industry and hard work of a bee. But their goal is to make it B forever!

Don, the groom's father, generously donated honey, and we gifted each of our wedding guests with a jar of golden nectar as our way of saying THANKS for spending the day with us!

And for the kids who didn't want a jar of honey, we gave them these adorable honey pot lollipops.

 Well...that's about it for the THEME. Thanks for stopping by! And Happy Thanksgiving.

Lots of love, 
Ms Fish

Up next Wedding Wednesday: Color and Style


Hexagon Jars found here. 0.62 each
Custom labels printed here
Custom 3 x 3 square cards printed here
Honey Jar Lollipops found here
Square wooden flower box purchased here
Rectangle wooden flower box custom made by Mr. Fish
Honeycomb flower box bands printed here
Honey donated by Don Behunin. He has fresh, organic honey for sale. Contact me, if interested.
Read a wonderful talk about bees and good causes here.


Wedding Wednesday: Organization

Hi friends, it's Wednesday. That means time to talk weddings. So let's get right to it, shall we? 
The only thing I really knew about weddings was that you weren't cool unless you had an ice sculpture. And nut cups with little square pastel mints. 

At least that's how it was in 1987.

So I started searching wedding blogs and Pinterest to find out the latest trends. I was surprised to see a glaring LACK of ice sculptures or nut cups. 

Instead, here are some of the trends I found for today's modern brides: 

-having a personal wedding website to explain things like how your napkins are really recycled banana peels. Organic peels, of course

-having a wedding registry where friends and family can donate to charity in lieu of gifts

-wearing designer shoes (ie: Manolo Blahnik) which cost as much as an entire 1987 wedding

-buying new decorations to look old  (tired of vintage yet?)

-having a professional video to document the "couple's story, " consisting of 101 ways to kiss and holding up love signs to make sure everyone knows you actually love each other (see below). Just in case you mistake the video for a mouthwash commercial

Photo credit: The Bride's Cafe

We didn't follow any of these trends.

However, one of the trends that will never go out of style, and that we embraced wholeheartedly, is organization.  Planning a wedding, especially a DIY wedding, requires good record keeping, no matter what year or style

Excel came to my rescue. I made a spreadsheet with 3 tabs: Jobs (to keep track of what the bride's and groom's family was responsible for), Budget, and Guest List (including addresses). The addresses in Excel can be used to print labels directly from the spreadsheet, if desired. (We hand addressed all of our invitations to be a little more personalized). 

The next thing I did was buy a little orange notebook, made tabs and divided it into sections:

do list
shopping list
photography ideas
music / playlist ideas
design ideas / sketches
vendors (paid and balance owed)
reception set up: specific list of what goes in each area along with the tools, equipment, etc.
list of things to bring to reception site

I carried this little notebook around with me everywhere. It had pockets for color swatches, ribbon samples, and business cards of potential and hired vendors. When ideas would come or I would remember things I need to do, it would get jotted in my book. Everyday, I recorded what I had done that day on the wedding, who I called, what conversations I had, what I purchased and where, etc. This proved to be a big help when trying to remember if I had asked so and so about such and such.

Someday the book might be helpful when Janessa is planning her daughter's wedding. I am amazed at how many details need to be kept track of. No wonder mothers of the bride have a reputation for getting crazy.

Which is why I made this poster: Don't mess with me I am the mother of the bride!

The Retro Version

The Gangster Version

Feel free to forward this to any mothers you know who are planning a wedding. It's good to help each other. MOBs have to band together. That's what they do best :)

Well, that's all for this week.  

Lots of love,
Ms Fish 

Up Next Wedding Wednesday.... THEME.


A Ceiling of Birds

Every year around this time, the telephone wires along our main local thoroughfare become a temporary resting place for bunches of black birds. It is always a bit unnerving to see so many birds in one place. Though I'm sure the only reason I think that is thanks to Alfred Hitchcock.

But yesterday.... oh yesterday there was NOTHING uncomfortable about it. In fact, these birds put on one of the most incredible, and magnificent spectacles I have ever seen. In fact, I can't get it out of my mind.

Turns out, our local highway also became the preferred route for a whole city of birds making their way south.

About 7:00 am, I was driving to work along SR 9, when the sky suddenly darkened above me. I looked up to see that I was directly beneath hundreds of black birds who formed a ceiling as wide as my car. The birds stayed directly above me for at least 200 yards like a giant stripe painted in the sky to show the way. The swath of birds swayed back and forth horizontally in a gentle wave as if they were attached to a ribbon held between two (very large) people. Though the entire band seemingly moved as a singular unit, it was also fun to notice the individual tiny birds flapping their wings wildly.

After several minutes, the canopy of birds above me ended. But another aggregate of birds were flocking off to my left. This longer strip continued for miles.

I was awestruck. This must be similar to watching the return of the monarch butterflies to Mexico.

The picture below is the tail end of the bunch as they were starting to thin out. Unfortunately, I was so taken with the scene, that I didn't think about pulling out my phone camera until it was nearly too late.  I took this in my moving car, so it is difficult to make-out the birds. But if you look closely, and use a childlike imagination, you can discern a faint black line above the two telephone wires. That represents hundreds of tiny birds headed for home.

Did anyone else see this? Or have you ever seen anything similar?

photo by Ms Fish


We Still Got It

Jared and Janessa on the eve of their Grand Wedding Celebration. Photo credit: Justin Hackworth

I've missed the last two Wedding Wednesdays.  But you didn't notice, right?

I'm really sorry about it, though I have all kinds of legitimate excuses, including spending time with Mr. Fish. We are, afterall, officially EmPTy NeSTeRs now.


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