Something New! Ayesha Curry’s “The Seasoned Life” for Your Registry

Bridal shower guests LOVE giving cookbooks as gifts! You simply can’t lose with a buzzy, beautiful cookbook that captures a celebrity chef’s sparkle and skill and whichever kind of recipes you’re hungry for now — keto, GF, quick, comforting, southern, and so on.

Here’s my pick:

blog books ayesha curry seasoned life

How lovely is Ayesha Curry? She’s got that fun-girl energy, excellence in the kitchen, family-friendly dishes, and always a mix of inspiration. I set her TV show to record even if it’s going to be all reruns all day. Don’t care. Love it that much. Recipes to die for, intros to kitchen gear, family visits, al fresco dining, and those cutie kids. All of this great energy, sparkle and great taste comes through in “The Seasoned Life,” and here are my picks for some of the best dishes in this cookbook: Smoked Salmon Scramble. Seriously. Made easy, and finished with a mastery of garnishing that creates a wish to get better at the garnish. Delish, and a fab pick for any bridal brunch or the wedding morning breakfast. Love this one.

Her Making Dinner Happen is one of the warming chapter openings, inviting you into Ayesha’s kitchen with her family, and you just have a seat at the table, or giving her in-progress recipe a taste. “Dinner is also the meal that draws in the most memories” gets you in a reminiscing mood with Ayesha, and this is a great time to look back with gratitude on all of the family dinner memories you have with your inner circle. And White Chocolate Bread Pudding at the end of this book with the desserts (many of them impressively low in sweet stature) completes the equivalent of a great meal. Fabulous finds happen everywhere in this cookbook, on so many levels and in so many categories, with helpful charts and lists like the mix-ins salad chart that’s going to send you right to the crisper. This is a good one, sure to get lots of ooohs and ahhhs if you’re among the brides who open their bridal shower gifts in front of the shower guests. (Not everyone does. We didn’t. People lived. Cake was had.)

I’m excited to open the doors of my book reccs starting with Ayesha’s gorgeous book, for your wedding registry or for a self-bought treat to stave off wedding stress. Books can always rescue you, so I’ll share more of my favorite registry books coming up here!

Hey, as always, thanks for following me here on the blog, and on my social media spots. Many of you know that I’ve been dancing with grief the past few years, and no one tells you that it’s going to take a long time to not just get back to normalcy but to see some slivers of color in the clouds where new joys are coming through. I haven’t really enjoyed a book club novel for years, understandably. I’ve started a few, then put them down, picked them up, then put them down and fired up Netflix. I just couldn’t connect, just couldn’t be there. Then I chanced upon Ashley Spivey’s Book Club and a DM from Ashley led me to her bubbly, energetic, kind, and generous circle of readers. It was exactly what I needed. Exactly exactly. So I am re-reading those sputter-stop novels (Tea Girl?! Really?! I couldn’t get into Tea Girl?!) and jumping into the big names of now (Where the Crawdads Sing, etc.) with my love of reading — and reviewing and recommending — all shined up with a vibrance even my husband has noticed. I’m sure there’s some kind of article out there somewhere on how reading fulfills the soul, in part helping to add extra light to a relationship. Don’t need an article on that. It’s just true.

So if you’re hurting in your wedding planning season, or any other kind of straining season, grab a great novel, crack open a cookbook and some farm-fresh eggs, and just breathe in all that new energy. That’s what I’m going to be doing here on the blog for a while. I published by 38th wedding planning book, I’m turning 50 in about 3 months (!!!) and I’m navigating a post-grief life. Book titles are popping up in my mind, and I’m editing my next novel, so this is a coasting with sea air blowing my hair around after a loooong pedal up that hill.

Happy reading, and hugs to you and yours!

So Excited to Appear in Bridal Guide with my Budget Tips for Wedding Catering, Cakes and Drinks!

What a great start to this Monday! First, I received my first copies of my newest book, (which almost spent the night out in the rain after UPS left the box outside without ringing the bell! Whew!) And now, my article “Eat, Drink, Save” is featured in the January, February ’18 issue of Bridal Guide! Check it out, and find a whole pile of realistic, smart and budget-saving steps to get more from your wedding menu, cake and desserts and bar list!

my cover bg bridal-guide-jan-2018

I’m Featured on CreditCards.com With Some Top Tips for Wedding Budget Savings!

Engaged couples, zip on over to see my top wedding budget tips in this article on CreditCards.com. Yes, you CAN have seafood in your wedding menu, and yes, you CAN have gorgeous wedding flowers and décor. You just need to know the right questions to ask, and decisions to make that won’t leave you with regrets on and after your big day.

My book, 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding gets the spotlight here, and if you’re newly-engaged, you AND YOUR BRIDAL PARTY AND PARENTS will find plenty of smart ways to save on your wedding and party plans.

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Brides, Start Your Jewelry Collection Now

Photo courtesy of Dune Jewelry

Photo courtesy of Dune Jewelry

Your wedding is the perfect time to start a jewelry collection that you’ll build upon all through your marriage. The time to start a new tradition is now, so that your collection extends from the start of your marriage and lasts for all time. Not married yet? Begin your jewelry collection during your engagement season — it’s your tradition to create as you’d like!

You might decide to stick with a particular brand, such as Alex and Ani, or go with a particular type of gemstone such as Aquamarine or Blue Topaz (in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets throughout the years!) Or, choose something highly customizable, such as jewelry bought during your honeymoon and lifetime travels. Dune Jewelry (above) lets you customize jewelry with actual sand from beaches all over the world [and if they don’t have your beloved beach in their sandbank, you can send in a small vial of sand you collected, to be incorporated into your chosen jewelry design. [I don’t work for Dune Jewelry — I own a bunch of their necklaces, personalized with our favorite beach sands!]

Happy collecting!

 

Check Out My Wedding Registry Tips in This Fab Guide by Wedding Paper Divas and Best Buy!

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It’s an excellent morning here! We’re so excited to share this fabulous Wedding Registries Guide, created by Wedding Paper Divas in partnership with Best Buy. It’s filled with phenomenal gift registry tips from an array of wedding experts, and WPD included a great collection of my own wedding registry tips and trends!

Check out all the sections of their amazing wedding registry guide, and get ready for your gift registry to surpass your expectations, for your wedding guests to be really impressed by your gift list, and for each wave of wonderful gifts you receive to fully delight you both!

Thank you, WPD and Best Buy, for including me in this awesome guide!

Fab Find! Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries

berries champ 1 berries champ 2 berries champ 3

Just when you thought chocolate-dipped strawberries couldn’t get any better, here are Shari’s Berries Hand-Dipped Champagne Strawberries.

How gorgeous are these beauties?! I just received my 20% off brochure in the mail from Shari’s Berries [I’ve sent chocolate-covered strawberries as gifts in the past, and ordered platters for my parties, so I know they’re delish!] and I noticed a few new items on their list: with these Champagne Strawberries standing out as the most perfect gift for bridesmaids, a stunning dessert buffet addition, and I would give out-of-town wedding guests a half-dozen of these as their welcome gift in their hotel rooms!

Here are a few details about these indulgent and upscale chocolate-dipped champagne berries in a dozen assortment (and they have lots of different assortments, so go to their page!:)

  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Shimmer Sugar*
  • 12 Strawberries Dipped in White Flavored with a Hint of Champagne and Topped with Gold Swizzles*
  • *Contains no alcohol

This is definitely a fab find! And they’ll work beautifully in any wedding season. And let me remind you to get your wedding coordinator an excellent thank you gift after your wedding – these would be perfect!

A Dazzling Jewelry Event at Braunschweiger Jewelers

Sparkle in Spring event with Braunschweiger Jewelers
Step into Spring with Sparkle!
Braunschweiger Jewelers, a 5th generation, family-owned jewelry store with two New Jersey locations, will be hosting its exclusive “Sparkle in Spring” event on April 28th from 5-8 p.m. at their New Providence store located in The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Avenue, New Providence, NJ.
New collections will be debuting and on display from designers including David Yurman, Roberto Coin, Marco Bicego, Elle, Monica Rich Kosann and Belle Etoile.
Attendees will enjoy light fare & wine, preferred customer pricing and the first 100 guests will receive a gift bag. 
 Additionally, when customers fill out their jewelry “wish list” during the event, they will be entered to win a $1,000 gift card to Braunschweiger Jewelers. The winner will be selected and announced the day following the event.  
For more information, please visit braunshweiger.com. 
About Braunschweiger Jewelers
Braunschweiger Jewelers is well-known for personally selecting styles with modern yet timeless design, impeccable use of exquisite colored gemstones and diamonds, and distinctive details. Our elite collections cater to a savvy clientele that seeks renowned designers like Marco Bicego and John Hardy, premier bridal selections and unique estate pieces.  Our philosophy is to offer the highest quality and superior craftsmanship while staying up-to-date with the newest trends. Braunschweiger Jewelers has been providing unparalleled service and selection since the 1930s. We are regularly featured in top magazines and have received “Best of” awards from NJ Bride (2012), NJ Monthly (2011-12), The Knot (2013), Best of Morris Essex (2015) and The Daily Record (2010-11). For information and store locations, visit www.braunschweiger.com.
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For further press information, please contact:
 Laura Perillo/FIORE
pr@fioreinspires.com

The Bride’s Guide to Freebies – Fabulous Big-Money Sweeptakes at Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart

bride's guide to freebies

In my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies, I’ve shared a ton of my top freebie-finding secrets for weddings, helping you avoid Mistake Freebies and lock into the ones that really add to your wedding day (and boost your wedding budget further!)

When this book first came out, we offered a wedding freebies newsletter, which grew too big too quickly for us to maintain well (and there weren’t always great freebies out there!) So we moved our wedding freebies info to my blog to make it easier for everyone to cash in!

In my book, I recommended the Better Homes and Gardens sweepstakes, which often included bigtime cash prizes, and this has gotten even better for you lately, since they switched their online sweepstakes entries into UNLIMITED entry for most of their big-money prizes. We’re talking $50,000 (which could pay for your whole wedding,) $25,000 (which, again, could pay for your whole wedding,) $20,000 (there’s the wedding gown of your dreams!) and more. (You’ll need to register with BHG, of course, and each entry requires you to click on a super-short video to make sure you’re not a bot. With these and any other online sweepstakes, always read the rules and fine print before you click!)

So, check it out, including the Martha Stewart sweepstakes and other sister magazines’ sweepstakes. We wish you good luck with your entries (and much fun with your winnings!)

Fab Find! Stone Cask’s MusicAle Bottle Opener

Stone Cask MusicAle Bottle Opener

Now this is a great bridal shower favor or gift for bridesmaids and groomsmen! I’d ever put a few of these on the bar at your wedding, engagement party, shower and rehearsal dinner for your guests to use in style.

It’s Stone Cask’s cleverly-named MusicAle Premium Beer Bottle Opener, which adds a ‘note’ of style to your bottle-opening needs. I received one from the company to review, and I love it so much, it’s my newest Fab Find!

Here’s some info from the company website:

  • Premium stainless steel bottle opener
  • Ergonomic design opens bottles with ease
  • Adds a stylish and decorative touch to any counter or bar top
  • Perfect gift for music aficionados
  • 2-year warranty

Product Description

MusicAle is music to your beers! The one-of-a-kind bottle opener is a must-have bar accessory for any music lover. The stylish, stainless steel eighth note is designed to sit upright on the note head as a beautiful counter or bar top decoration. The carefully crafted flag doubles as a fun and clever way to open beer and other bottled beverages in seconds.

MusicAle is packaged beautifully in a deluxe box you will be proud to give as a gift to a music teacher, fellow band mate, or music-loving co-worker.

Enjoy years of hassle-free bottle opening with Stone Cask’s industry-leading 2 Year Warranty to guarantee your satisfaction with this specialty bar accessory.

The Luckiest Numbers of Bamboo Stalks to Have (and the Unlucky Number!)

bamboo 2

If you’re into feng shui and good luck charms, you likely know that bamboo is considered a lucky plant. And you may also know that the number of bamboo stalks in your display has a Meaning, bringing different kinds of good luck (and there’s one bad luck number you should definitely avoid!)

I had three bamboo stalks in my money corner, and when one turned yellow, that didn’t sit well with me. Okay, I kinda freaked out and pulled the vase from that corner until I could fix the problem. I thought two bamboo stalks was bad luck, but it turns out, it isn’t at all. So my vase with two curly bamboo stalks is back in place.

To help you plan your bamboo shopping — for straight stalks, pretty curly bamboo stalks, or those pre-planted bamboo stalk groupings to display in your home, office, or at your wedding — here are the meanings behind the number of bamboo stalks in displays:

  • 1 Stalk – simplicity, meaningful life
  • 2 Stalks – luck in love and marriage
  • 3 Stalks – happiness (Most popular among those who think three is a lucky number)
  • 4 Stalks – This is the one to avoid. According to Chinese culture, Four could draw negative energy
  • 5 Stalks – academic achievement, creativity
  • 7 Stalks – good health
  • 8 Stalks – prosperity
  • 9 Stalks – good fortune and overall luck
  • 10 Stalks – completion or perfection
  • 21 Stalks – all-purpose blessings and luck

Add a little extra oomph to your bamboo with the power of your display:

The Wood element is in the bamboo stalks

The Water element is in the water they sit in

The Earth element is in the rocks or pebbles inside your bamboo vase (go for shades of brown and tan in these pebbles for the best Earth representation.)

The Metal element is in the clear glass container you use to display your stalks, the water and the pebbles. If you do not use a glass vase, put a coin at the bottom of your container.

Fire is in a red ribbon that you tie on the stalks or around the container.

I buy my lucky bamboo at our local garden center, and I’ve seen lucky bamboo stalks and plants at Home Depot, Lowes and our supermarket, so it should be easy to find these!