My Favorite Wedding Party Gifts (Male Attendants)

Originally posted on Bright Occasions:

A couple weeks ago, I shared My Favorite Wedding Party Gifts for your female attendants.  We cannot forget about the guys, who are equally deserving of a thank you gift.

See this post also via The DC Ladies.  Here are five great gift ideas:

For the Gentlemen:

1) As more and more couples are choosing nice suits for the wedding attire, a popular gift is a great tie.  This could be meant to wear for the wedding and is something they’ll have for years to come.

Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Stripe Woven Silk Tie $49.50

the-dc-ladies-bride-guide-wedding-party-gifts-the groomsmen2) If you are opting for a traditional tuxedo, consider gifting cuff links to your groomsmen.  You can purchase cuff links in a special color or get these engraved with each guys initials.

Macy’s, Kenneth Cole Reaction Square Dot Detail Cufflinks, $42.00

the-dc-ladies-bride-guide-wedding-party-gifts-the groomsmen

3) If you are looking for something different and more personal, give your guys…

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My Roxy gave birth!

Hi everyone. I’m sorry that I’ve been missing this week with blog entries. I have been preoccupied since last Friday. My dog, Roxy, gave birth unexpectedly on Friday and I’ve been trying my best to learn how to take care of the puppies and her. I don’t normally do many personal blog posts like this, but I wanted to share with you all what’s been going on the past week.

About three weeks ago, we noticed that Roxy had a pudgy belly and I immediately considered her being pregnant. We also have a male Yorkie and neither are fixed. We took her to the vet but didn’t see any puppies in the ultrasound (it’s a mystery). We were set for another ultrasound Monday, 6/2 but on Friday morning, I noticed Roxy was very shaky, vomiting and whimpering. On the way to the vet, Roxy gave birth in the passenger seat of my car to who we now call Peanut! I was so panic, but thankfully he was just fine. I was so amazed how my lil Roxy knew just what to do by immediately licking peanut and biting off his umbilical cord. Once I got to the vet, “Royal” was born. Our last puppy “Lucky” did not want to come out and Roxy was so tired to push. Her legs started turning green and she almost lost her life. The vet had to manually take out Lucky who was not breathing. A few minutes of CPR and he came back back to us. About an hour later, I took my new little family home and I’ve been in love ever since.

I’ll be honest, this little taste of motherhood is scary. I worried that they will survive because they are so tiny. At almost a week old, they are gaining weight and meeting their milestones thus far! It is definitely like having real babies with feeding them supplement milk every 3 hours to ensure they are getting enough nutrients, in addition, to Roxy nursing. I definitely cried a lot out of frustration and lack of sleep, but my boyfriend and I are on a routine now and the puppies are thriving which makes my heart happy again. Roxy is such a great mama. I am so proud of her.

So meet my little puppies:

First born Peanut is super tiny which is why he has that name. He loves to eat and sleep. He has a more yorkie look to him. He is almost at 3.5 oz which is his goal by tomorrow. He’s right on track.

Next was Royal. He is definitely a chunky poodle. He has curly hair and a black nose. He looks just like Roxy. He is the biggest pup at over 5 oz almost at his goal of 5.5 oz.

Last but not least, Lucky! He’s the most improved. He had trouble nursing for the first two days but now he is a pro and has been gaining a great amount of weight! He’s almost 5 oz. which is his goal. He’s black and white and just so cute and active.

Here is a photo of my boyfriend feeding Lucky. You can see just how tiny they really are!

We are giving all the puppies to friends and family so that Roxy can still see and play with her pups in the future! Can’t wait to see what they’ll look like full grown! :) I’ll be happy to keep updates on their progress!


Princess and the Frog Cupcakes + Party Ideas!

This weekend I had a challenging order for Princess and the Frog theme cupcakes for Miss Caytlyn’s 4th birthday this Wednesday. When I say challenging, that is exactly what it was. My apartment was so hot so I almost had a meltdown myself trying to keep everything together!

The cupcakes are milk chocolate with whipped frosting dyed green and hot pink. The crowns are made of buttermilk fondant. I’m still learning a lot about fondant. I used a different brand this time because I’ve noticed some are not very tasty. I’m hoping the buttermilk will be creamier. The end result was achieved! :)

If you would like to place cupcake orders you can email me at

Are you thinking about throwing a Princess and the Frog theme birthday party, here are some fun ideas you can incorporate…

Have a dress up party like this mom did for her daughter. Lora Lee Lewis’ blog is exquisite with ideas for this theme. I was totally blown away.

Give your guests cute goody bags by adding plastic tiaras and/ or plastic wands and some candy. You can recreate something like this very inexpensive at party city. has party theme packages like this one.

Now you need some games. Try this spin off from pin the tail, “Kiss the Frog!” You can get this version from

Want your birthday girl to stand out? Get this cute princess and the frog dress from our friends at only $34.99.

Have any of you thrown a Princess and the frog party before? Share your ideas in the comments! :)


Memorial Day Recipes!

I absolutely love Memorial Day and not only because it reminds us that summer is around the corner and our tough winter is long behind us, but I also love spending time with family and friends; remembering those who have put their lives on the line for millions of Americans they don’t even know (so thank you so much from bottom of our hearts) and eating a bunch of delicious BBQs and meals we wouldn’t normally do on any giving Monday.

Here is a list of some awesome recipes to try this weekend. All are very easy.

I think it’s fun to change up a traditional BBQ with regular burgers and try serving your guests burger sliders…smaller bites…gives them more room to try everything else on your menu. This recipe is from Pinterest from

As I mentioned before Memorial Day reminds us that summer is around the corner so why not try this strawberry-champagne slushie from (they didn’t have a direct link). I can imagine this would take a matter of minutes to whip up. Grab those cute plastic champagne glasses from your nearby dollar store and waaaalaaaa!

Guests love snacking before the big meal. Make them these Rosemary Bacon Potatoe recipe. I love making these for my friends! They are very tedious but well worth it! I shared these before for Super Bowl. Here’s a refresher:

You can’t leave the BBQ without dessert and I can’t help but share one of my favorite cupcake recipes that I made last year for a friend’s BBQ: Cheeseburger sliders! There are a bunch of ways to make these… Get my recipe here: Definitely a big hit at any party!

We hope you all enjoy this holiday weekend and remember to stay safe! Any fun plans? Let me know in the comments below…

Pray for Nina!

This Saturday, we were invited to a very special charity BBQ. Miss Nina has been diagnosed with cancer and her family is struggling with the pain of possibly loosing a member of their family. I thought it was so sweet that Nina’s family put together an event to try and raise money for Nina’s treatment. I was so honored to take part and give as much as I could.

I also created this bling banner for the BBQ, adding some of the family’s favorite pictures of Nina!

If anyone is interested in donating to help Nina beat cancer please email me at all donations are very much appreciated and truly blessed!


Wedding Budget Websites!

Happy Friday bloggers! Budget websites like Groupon, Livingsocial and fashion sites like Asos and Hutelook are growing more and more popular these days. You can get discounts and discounts worth of goods and services for half the prices as regular stores.

Most recently, I received an email from Groupon indicating they now have a wedding section. If you follow our fan page on Facebook we shared this information a while ago, but today I’m going to give you a more intimate look. On groupon you can find tons of deals for photo booths, photographers, invitations, favors and more. Here is a screen shot of some of today’s deals…

The other day my best friend told me that ASOS also now has a wedding section. I think it’s pretty cool because we all know that bridesmaids dresses can cost a pretty penning and more likely than none you’ll never where them again. They also have reasonable wedding guest dresses and accessories for brides.

Since I’ll be going to quite a few weddings this year, I picked my favorite wedding guest dresses from The site:

I love that this dress is a midi and is not short. It bothers me when I see wedding guests dressed like they’re going clubbing.

This dress is perfect for a summer outside wedding, preferably a beach or destination wedding where you can show off your tan in this gorgeous color.

Florals are in! I love everything about this dress from the print to the cut and length.

What are your thoughts on these wedding budget sites?


Photo credit: groupon, Asos

Vendor Feature: Ily Grantham Photography!

Hello my friends! Today, I am sharing with you a very talented portrait and wedding photographer, Ily Grantham, from the beautiful sunsets of Phoenix, Arizona. Ily randomly emailed me with some very kind words about the blog. I’m so happy that she did because I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her through her words and gorgeous photos!

Ily has been shooting professionally in Phoenix for the last 3 years and has been doing weddings for the past 2 years. As a self-taught photographer, Ily, has dedicated hours of practice and sleepless nights of researching.

Ily describes herself as passionate. “I’m a passionate person and I love what I do, what I see, what I photograph… The words you would hear more often from me are I love this, I love that… I’m a “I love” person.”

Also described as a “Nikon girl” Ily’s photographic style is romantic, modern, artistic and fun. Her inspirations come from her clients, brides, her children and families. Ily indicates that she loves getting to know her clients as much as possible which helps her really show their personalities within her photos.

One of my favorite things about weddings are the themes. Destination weddings will always be my number one which is why I was excited to see Ily’s dream wedding destination spot: “I would love to shoot a wedding in Ireland! But to be honest any part of Europe will be a dream, but Ireland is my #1.”

Ily’s favorite part about being a wedding photographer is after the ceremony. She explains “when is just me, the bride and the groom, I always say to my brides… we did it… now you can relax and enjoy! I like to let them know that I’m there for them.”

I’ve always admired wedding photographers and the tough job they have before them. You most definitely need the talent and patience to excel in this business. Ily tells me that being a wedding photographer is very changing. It makes her think faster forcing her to learn and know her camera. During a wedding, Ily has to work fast to capture moments, “I have to run from point A to point B in just seconds, I have to capture ceremony details and portraits all within a tight timeframe and with limited control. Wedding photography is making me a better photographer for sure.”

Lastly, I’ve asked Ily to give some advice for my bride and groom readers: “Hire the perfect photographer for you! Take the time to get to know her/him, there are so many photographers out there but not all of them are the perfect fit for you, so take your time and get someone you will click with, the one you will trust, your photographer will be the person you spend the most time with on your wedding day.”

Ily is currently setting goals for more weddings! She is looking to travel more and keep growing as a photographer. Her other goal is to shoot more weddings outside of Arizona so if you are interested in Ily Grantham Photography visit her at:

We want to thank Ily for having her work on our blog today and we wish you a very successful and bright future!

Photo credit: Ily Grantham Photography