Our Stay at the Star Inn in Cape May

Carriage House 2

I’ve been meaning to post about our recent stay at the charming Star Inn in Cape May, part of the Cape Resorts family of hotels and fabulous eateries. We’d walked past this hotel a number of times in the past, while staying in nearby Wildwood Crest and driving into Cape May every single night. This time, we checked in to our Carriage House room and immediately saw its potential as a Girlfriend Getaway suite with its roominess and upscale design. Not to mention its awesome kitchen and fully-stocked supplies in case you want to cook a great dinner while you’re there. Two spacious, airy bedrooms and a pull-out couch mean you can comfortably fit several friends during your fun group stay. (Ask for the upper floor suite — that view is excellent!)

It didn’t even occur to us to cook anything, since we were right across the street from Congress Hall’s fantastic restaurants. Upon suggestion by our friend Laura, we tried the stuffed French Toast at the Blue Pig Tavern’s breakfast, and it was sensational. Marscapone in the morning? Absolutely. And Joe loved his omelette so much, we went  back every morning.

I spent a lot of time out on our suite’s deck overlooking the ocean, spending some time in the cozy chairs and on the swing, and although I didn’t get to order mimosas to enjoy al fresco, it’s on my list for the TWO trips we have planned this spring and summer to stay at The Star Inn again and again.

The beds were comfy, the shower spa-like, the night quiet.

Not that we were looking into our neighbor’s windows, but we did see a pretty mint color in a corner room, so we may try that room on a future visit!

Here are some photos of The Star Inn’s rooms:

Carriage House 3 Carriage House 5 Carriage House 7  Carriage House 9 Carriage House Exterior 2 Exterior 3 Exterior kateowen_capemay-star-rm6_026 kateowen_capemay-star-rm7_044

Oh, and they have excellent coffee and fresh-baked pastries in the lobby! And fantastic drinks in the Brown Room in Congress Hall. And a sweet gift shop. I could go on and on forever about how much I love The Star Inn. It’s the only place, besides our honeymoon resort, that we would (and will!) go back to again and again!

Fab Find! Shari’s Berries Chocolate Awesomeness for your Wedding Parties and Guest Welcome Gifts!

Shari's Berries chocolate-covered sampler for your wedding
We are in chocolate heaven over here at Sharon Naylor Wedding Books. The great folks at Shari’s Berries sent over some chocolate-covered goodies for our bridal shoot, and the place smells AMAZING!
Imagine setting up a chocolate platter on your engagement party, wedding or bridal shower bar, and giving your guests a great variety to choose from — and of course, the chocolate has to be The Best because your guests KNOW good chocolate from that cheap, waxy stuff you see at the supermarket. When you bring out the chocolate platter, your party space gets that mouth-watering chocolate scent, making your dessert bar stand out even more.
Here’s one of my top picks for your party:
Shari's Berries chocolate-covered sampler for your wedding
The Shari’s Berries site describes it like this: What would make sandwich cookies, gourmet pretzels, and graham crackers even more scrumptious? Chocolate of course! Each item in this tasty gift collection is smothered with a milk chocolate coating and then decorated with artful dark chocolate drizzle.
  • 8 Milk Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
  • 12 Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Bavarian Pretzels
  • 8 Milk Chocolate Covered Sandwich Cookies(R) Cookies
    Certified Kosher Dairy by Orthodox Union
  • Net Weight 1 lb 7 oz
  • Item #30001134

We created platters for ours:

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Shari's Berries chocolate-covered sampler for your wedding

Shari's Berries chocolate-covered sampler for your wedding

And think also about how happy your out-of-town wedding guests will be when they card-swipe into their hotel rooms and find a platter of chocolate-covered pretzels, grahams and Oreos instead of that been there-done that welcome bag of chips, packaged snacks and water. Instead, just like at a 5-star luxury resort, they find a platter of these chocolate-covered treats, or Shari’s Berries chocolate-covered berries (which are spectacular, fresh, sweet, juicy and every other word for delicious!) That’s indulgence, and that sets the tone for your guests having the best time ever on your wedding weekend. Or just set the pretty box in their rooms:

Shari's Berries chocolate-covered sampler for your wedding

Shari’s Berries also sent us some super-cute cookies that we’re photographing today, so I’ll post soon about those.

The Bride’s Guide to Freebies Newsletter has a new home here!

bride's guide to freebies

Welcome, Bride’s Guide to Freebies newsletter subscribers. I’ve moved the newsletter here permanently (the old emails won’t be coming anymore,) since we had some tech issues.

I’ll be posting new freebies here on my blog to help your wedding budget, so join me here and get ready to save a lot. Some of my newsletter subscribers wrote in to rave about their free wedding cakes, free cocktail party stations, and tons of free printables and craft supplies. One even won a free honeymoon. I’m quite proud of my book, and hope you’ll post a review if you haven’t already (many thanks to those of you who did!) And I’m proud to play a little part in your dream wedding day coming true on a budget.

 

I haven’t seen any excellent freebies in a while, with all of the stores and blogs offering Black Friday discounts lately. Everyone’s kinda shopping-fatigued. But here are a few from my own stash, plus some others I found for you:

Free excerpt of my book ‘Your Wedding Your Way:” https://sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/wedding-planning-first-step-your-free-excerpt-of-your-wedding-your-way/

Free checklist for bridesmaids: https://sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/free-checklist-for-bridesmaids-for-perfect-wedding-timing/

Shutterfly free shipping on $49 orders, and you can get a LOT for that with their current 50% off offers: http://www.shutterfly.com/special-offers

Follow the Frugal Girls and check out their Freebies often. Right now they have a free online cake pop class with Wilton, after signing up for a Craftsy account (always watch out for those ‘but first you have to sign up for… situations, which can be annoying, but still…) http://thefrugalgirls.com/category/freebies

Free Victoria’s Secret Reward Code (limited supply, and I’m not sure about rules, but take a look) http://www.swaggrabber.com/freebies-all/free-victoria-secret-reward-code-worth-up-to-500

 

Follow me here to get some excellent freebies to save money on your wedding, as well as on your other wedding celebrations like bridal showers, plus gifts and more!

 

Fab Find! Neiman Marcus Rose Cakes for your Wedding or Bridal Shower

nm rose cake whitenm rose cake chocolate nm rose cake red nm rose cakes

How stunning are these rose cakes from Neiman Marcus as gorgeous cakes for your wedding, bridal shower or engagement party? I first spotted these in their holiday catalog and fell in love instantly! They’re so elegant and romantic, and it brought back memories of being a little girl asking for extra roses on my birthday cakes. My cousins and I would jockey for the roses at every family birthday party, and we still talk about roses on cakes now that we’re in our 30s and 40s.

Here are some details on these cakes:

Details

  • Four layers.
  • Pink-tinted white frosting perfectly swirled to look like roses.
  • Finished with edible glitter.
  • Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours before serving.
  • 6″Dia. Serves 8–10.
  • Made in the USA.

 

Allergen Information: Contains dairy and nuts.

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Red-Velvet-Rose-Cake/prod161280188/p.prod?eVar4=You%20May%20Also%20Like

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/White-Buttercream-Rose-Cake/prod170140228/p.prod?eVar4=You%20May%20Also%20Like

http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Chocolate-Rose-Cake/prod161280171/p.prod?eVar4=You%20May%20Also%20Like

Will You Pay for Your Bridesmaids’ Pro-Done Hair and Makeup? My Survey Results!

tiaratwigsandhoney2

My wedding trend survey results are in! I asked brides if they would pay for their bridesmaids’ professionally-done hair and makeup for the wedding day, and here is what they said:

44% said, “No, I’m not asking my bridesmaids to get professionally-done hair and makeup.”

33% said, “Yes, I asked them to get pro hair and makeup, so I’m paying for it all.”

11% said “I’ve arranged for FREE hair and makeup for my bridesmaids, courtesy of a friend.”

11% said, “No, I’m not paying for it, but they’re getting their hair and makeup professionally-done.”

Where do you stand on this topic? Comments below enter you for a chance to win a $20 Sephora gift card!

And get your bridesmaids my book Bridesmaid on a Budget:

bridesmaidonabudget

Fab Find! The Restoration Hardware Chillsner – Register for Them and Give Them as Gifts

rh chillsner

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The Restoration Hardware Chillsner — on sale right now! — is one of my favorite Fab Finds of all-time! We picked up one of these during a power-shop at Restoration Hardware (our niece got a faux fur teddy bear and our best friends got Chillsners; we loaded up on tons of stocking stuffers, too!) and when our friends unwrapped it, we immediately chilled these ‘spikes’ in the freezer for not a long time, and the guys used the set of two in their beers. Total rave review!

{I just gave my husband two sets of Chillsners as his early Valentine’s Day gifts…we’re putting in the new patio this summer, so we have to have a bunch of Chillsners for everyone to use!}

Chillsners are quite awesome, so add these to your registry, or order a set for your beer enjoyment, and especially load up on these babies (at $17.49 per set of two right now!!) for your bridal party members — bridesmaids and groomsmen! — as the perfect bridal party gift, unbelievably under $20! Here’s more info on this fantastic, fabulous find:

Chillsner

$35 Sale $17.49

Life’s too short to drink warm beer. The Chillsner is a reusable, in-bottle beverage chiller that you can drink right through, for cold beer from the first sip to the last.

Keeps chilled bottled beer at the perfect temperature, without diluting.

  • Made from stainless steel and BPA-free plastic, filled with non-toxic freeze gel
  • Easy to use: just freeze the Chillsner for 45 minutes, pop it into any longneck bottle and drink
  • Forms a tight seal Yes, it does! We tested ours for leaks and dribbles, and they were perfect!
  • Between uses, rinse the Chillsner and store it in the freezer
  • Package of 2, so you can drink with a friend or partner, each with your beers super-cold.

Dimensions: 1″ diam., 8″L

Get ’em here: http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2701582&categoryId=search

Fab Find! EssenTiles Wedding Wine Charms

essentiles

EssenTiles wine charms are so brilliant, I wish I thought of this! They’re artistic accents on Scrabble tiles, turned into wine charms!

Here’s what the Essentiles.com site says about their Wedding collection:

“A set of specially chosen (or custom-designed) EssenTiles wine charms make an uncommon engagement present, a unique shower gift, or a memorable bachelorette party favor! Our collection of famous beautiful brides is something special, but you can order just about any photos you want that are meaningful to the happy couple.

Get creative! If you are coordinating a wedding or throwing a shower, consider an EssenTile charm as an alternative to place cards! Or say thank you to the wedding party with a custom charm or wine tag set.”

They have tons of different themes, too – so you can personalize your gifts or bridal shower themed wine charms.

Shop at their Etsy store — http://www.etsy.com/shop/EssenTiles — and follow them on Twitter at @EssenTiles