Thursday, February 17, 2011

Losing my Whoopie Cherry!

Now that we’ve decided to DIY a portion of our dessert buffet I’ve made it my mission to find simple and tasty recipes that even a non-baker like me could whip up. My first attempt came in the form of these tasty morsels-

Now I know whoopie pies aren’t new on the wedding scene but after whipping up a batch of my own I can honestly say that I understand the hype! These damn things are tasty and super simple to whip up even for a kitchen klutz like me!

My foray into the world of whoopee pies began with the book Whoopie Pies by Sara Billingsley and Amy Treadwell and these so adorable it hurts heart shaped whoopie pie pan from Wilton’s.

After looking over all the recipes in the book I decided to keep it old school and go with the classic chocolate cake with a butter cream filling. I was really pleased with how quickly the recipe came together and even more pleased with the tasty results.

According to the book the whoopie’s can be made up to a month in advance if frozen properly. Since we’ll be incorporating several small bite desserts into our buffet I’m estimating we’ll only need about 3 batches or a total of 48 pies, which shouldn’t be too hard to whip up the week before the wedding.

If you’re interested in baking up some pies of your own there’s a couple handy tips I picked up during my experimentation-

  • The book specifically refers to mixing your ingredients with a standing mixer with a paddle attachment but if you’re like me with little to no fancy kitchen equipment a basic hand mixer with standard attachments will do.
  • I definitely recommend investing in a pastry bag and tips if you’re looking to get perfectly stacked pies with a plump cushion of filling. The pastry bag is super simple to use and the results are top notch.
  • When the book says 10 minute cook time it means 10 minutes! I accidently left a batch in for 11 minutes and my cakes came out super dry on the other hand when I tried to take them out a minute early the cakes ended crumbly and refused to hold their shape.
  • You don’t need a special whoopee pie pan to make whoopies but if you choose to invest in one I recommend spraying your pan with cooking spray before loading it up with mix and using a tooth pick to remove your cooled cakes after baking.

So tell me friends do you plan to bake/cook anything up for your wedding or do you think I’m crazy for planning to DIY part of our dessert buffet?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Memory of...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

In typical Vee & J fashion we spent our v-day out shopping at our local Costco and feasting on Costco chicken bakes and hot dogs. Now before you start feeling sorry for us thinking that our relationship is devoid of all things romance you should know that Valentine’s Day has never held much importance to us. See, about 15 years on Valentines Day (6 years before me and J ever meet) J’s father lost his battle with liver disease and passed away. Needless to say February 14th is no day for celebration in J’s family and our relationship.

This was a huge sore spot for me in the first couple years in our relationship. What can I say I was young, dumb and selfish and didn’t understand how the death of J father meant I didn’t get flowers on v-day. Yea, I know I suck and I looking back feel like a total jerk for ever making a day that holds so much sadness for J all about me. Hopefully I’ll be able to right some of these wrongs and honor J’s dad on a day that his absence will greatly be felt, our wedding day.

One of J few possessions from his father is his father’s wedding band.

We’ll be handing this precious over to our florist this week before our wedding for her to incorporate into his boutonniere. It’ll be a small but important visual reminder of his father on our wedding day.

How do you plan to honor your departed love ones on your day?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Im with the Band

I knew from about day one of our engagement that I would get a non-traditional wedding band. I wanted something bold and colorful that could be worn without my engagement ring. Something kind of like this-

With the extra money we saved on J’s wedding band we had a pretty healthy sum in our budget to be able to afford almost any band of my choosing. That all change though the day J shared with me his stress over our ever grown budget. In the past couple of months we’ve found ourselves going over budget on big ticket items like photography and rentals and as much as it sucked my wedding band was one place we both saw we could save some money to help cover our overages. It’s not the most ideal situation but since I wasn’t 100% attached to any one ring and considering J’s own inexpensive ring purchased I figured it was only fair to limit my own budget.

Since I knew our new ring budget wouldn’t stretch far enough to include gemstones or expensive metals I focused my search on sterling silver bands similar to the one we purchased for J several months back. Me be me though I still wanted it to have some special to set it apart from other silver bands and I found it in Tiffany’s sterling silver I Love You ring.

The ring is a perfect complement to J’s sterling silver band and its petite size means it fits nicely against my engagement ring. I’m really happy with our choice in wedding bands and I’m even happier with their small impact to our budget.

Now the only thing left to do is figure out what in the hell we’re going to have engraved inside them I’m thinking something thing classic like our wedding date or should we go for something quirky?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dessert + Buffet = Love

I love dessert. Given the choice between a gourmet dinner and desert my choice would be dessert every time. That being said it may surprise you to know that our wedding cake ranks pretty low on our list of wedding priorities. Don’t get me wrong I adore a beautiful wedding but unfortunately is stretched to its max and there is no room for us to go over budget on our cake.

Sucks I know. What’s even suckier is that I’ve recently fallen in love with the idea of a dessert buffet. With pictures like this can you blame me?

Sigh, a dessert buffet like the ones above by the ever so talented Sweet and Saucy Bake Shop are for sure unobtainable with our meager budget but J and I have been kicking around some ideas that could bring my dessert buffet vision to life.

For starters to display all our goodies we’ll be using cake stands and trays that we currently own. If we find that we need more we’ll hit up our local thrift store and swap meet. This will keep our display cost to a minimum and leave the bulk of our budget for actual deserts.

As for the actual cakes and desserts we’ll be taking a semi-DIY approach. We’ll be purchasing the actual wedding cake from a local bakery but to cut cost we’ll purchase a smaller cake that feeds about half our guest list. The rest of the buffet will be a mix of yummy Mexican pastries that can be purchased inexpensively at our local panaderia and homemade goodies that hopefully we’ll be able to make in advance and freeze.

We’re still working out all the details and crunching the numbers to see if this will be a possibility for us but I’m crossing my figures that our dessert vision will become reality.

Image 1 courtesy of; images 2. 3 and 5 courtesy of sweet and saucy bake shop; image 4 personal photo

Monday, February 7, 2011

DIY Photoshot on the Coast

Oh my can you believe it’s been almost a week since my last blog entry? Thanks to a glitch in our DSL connection J and I have been without internet wince Wednesday of last week. Couple that with a weekend away to Santa Barbara to see one of our favorite bands and you got 6 days away from emails blogs and all thing wedding.

But even the dreamy sounds of my man Paul Banks could keep my mind 100% off wedding. The beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara screamed take a picture of me and we decided to take advantage and stage a DIY photo shot in hopes of getting some quality images for our wedding website.

Armed with a tripod our Cannon 30D DSLR and couple of inspiration pics we headed off to find the perfect location. Our first stop was a park off of Cabrillo Blvd were we tried to recreate this picture.

Yea that was a total fail.

We quickly decided to leave this shot to the professionals and moved on to the vintage carousel.

Much better, We originally wanted to get shots of us riding the carousel but unfortunately there was a 2 dollar charge per person to ride and we only had 2 bucks cash on us. At this point we noticed our camera battery was running out of juice and we decided to head down the coast to get some shots by the beach and possibly some Pictures like this with the our little roundie.

We were lucky and found a deserted scenic turn off right off the 101 freeway with spectacular views of the ocean and the beach. It was here that we got some of my favorite pictures of the day.

I’m so happy with the images we were able to capture in the short amount of time we were shooting. They are by no means professional photos but compared to our previous eyeball only pics they are a 100% improvement.

If you’re interested in staging your own DIY photo shot there’s a couple of things to keep in mind before you head out

· Clear off a couple of hours on your calendar to dedicate to your shoot. Setting up each shot with the tripod can suck up a lot of your time so you want to make sure you have enough time dedicated to your shoot.

· Do your homework. Scout out possible locations prior to heading out for your shoot and research potential possess. Heading into your photo shot with a good game plan will help you maximize your time while you’re out on location.

· Don’t get to ambitions. Focus on perfecting a few shots rather than getting a lot of mediocre shots. J and I focused on nailing a few image and ended up with about 7 workable images out of the over 30 pictures we took.

· Your equipment doesn’t need to be high tech all you need is a simple point and shoot with a delayed timer; a tripod and a good working knowledge of your camera and you will be able to get a quality image.

And above everything else have fun! If you’re having fun it’ll show in your images and no amount of posing or expensive equipment can duplicate that.

Interpol pic courtesy of Inspirational car pic courtesy of

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Lips are Sealed

Am I the only one that though they said long as I see you? Yea I didn’t think so but I digress this post isn’t about my annoying habit of mishearing song lyrics. No ma’am today we’ll be discussing my annoying habit of under sharing.

You’ve heard of an over sharer well I’m the opposite. The intimate details of my personal life are on a need to know basis and I very rarely offer up information about myself and my life to people I’ve barley meet. I’m the type of person that will sit with a coworker at lunch and listen to them share details of their weekend but when questioned about my weekend my response is usually a brief fine thank you. It’s a personality quirk that has often gotten me labeled as cold and unfriendly but those who know me best accept this quirk and understand that when I do confide in them and share details of my life it means I have 100% trust in them.

Now you’re probably thinking Vee you do realize this blog is public for anyone to read and what the shiz does this have to do with weddings? My answer to that is blogging provides a veil of anonymity that real life doesn’t our wedding day on the other hand will put a big ol’ spotlight on me and J and our (very) personal life. Wedding by nature and especially DIY wedding like ours are meant to be a personal reflection of the couple and the best ceremonies are crafted to reflect the couple and provide guest an intimate glimpse into their lives together.

See the problem? I’m a little anxious about not only being the center of attention on our wedding day but also putting J and I relationship and private life out there for all to see. Lucky for me J and I have come up with some wedding day strategies to help ease my anxiety and make our day feel more personal us and our guests.

· Keep our guest list small. Every single person on our list is near and dear to us and have watched us grow together as a couple. Our guest list is currently hovering at about 65 and I couldn’t be happier with it.

· Have a first look. The first time J and I see each other on our wedding day will be just the 2 of us and our very stealth photographer. This moment will be just for us and it’s the part of the day that I’m looking forward to the most.

· Have a close friend officiate our wedding. My sister/MOH boyfriend of over 4 years has stepped up to the task of officiating our wedding so there won’t be any need for us to share details of our relationship with a stranger for our ceremony.

So tell me are you an information hoarder like myself, do you have an personality quirks reeling their ugly heads as you plan your wedding?