Archive | September, 2012

Stamp of Perfection

27 Sep

I think it’s pretty common for brides to suffer from perfectionism when it comes to their wedding –  I know I did! Ages and ages ago, I wanted to order a return address rubber stamp for all our wedding-related correspondence but always delayed purchase as I agonized over every little detail and decision. Vendor sources: foryoo , savethedate, chattypress, & primele

Don’t do that! To the brides-to-be who spend too long pondering whether a font conveys your “couple style” (don’t laugh!!), remember this advice: Just do it! Simple.  Only immerse yourself in this level of detail if you enjoy it, but don’t stew for weeks mulling over every.single.decision because there are simply too many over the course of your planning that you won’t be able to do them all justice. Inevitably that one thing you didn’t decide on quick enough and had to skip will haunt you later on.  Just go with your instincts and if you’ve slept on it and still really love a dress, a color scheme, a venue or something SO minor like a return address stamp, commit already and check it off your list.

And most important of all, remember that if you’re married at the end of all this planning, that’s all that matters.

Note: Having said all that, we are now married and 9 million envelopes later, I could STILL kick myself  for not buying one of these return address stamps, so I finally rounded up my absolute favorite-favorite-favorites to share with you from the following incredible vendors on Etsy. Enjoy!

Portuguese Kale & Sausage Soup

18 Sep

Here is another incredible recipe given to me by my co-worker Dan. Weirdly, it’s a hugely popular summer soup on the Cape, but I like to make it right around now when air is getting chillier, but the leaves aren’t quite ready to fall. Grab a loaf of crusty bread, a snuggly sweater, and enjoy with abandon.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
6 chopped cloves garlic, minced
1 pound linguiça (Portuguese sausage) sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 pound chouriço (Spanish sausage), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
* 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & diced
* 2 large Red Bliss potatoes, diced
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
* 4 quarts chicken stock
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 pound kale, well washed, ribs removed, and torn into bite-size pieces
* 1 loaf crusty Portuguese bread

1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
2. Add the sausage, garlic and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent.
3. Add the parsley and the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the bay leaves, thyme and crushed red pepper, then the potatoes and kale. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about another 30 minutes.
5. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove the bay leaves. To serve, pour the soup into individual soup bowls and serve with the bread.

Yields 8 servings
sources: Recipe courtesy of Michael H. Stines, for Cape Cod Today, photo via the Kitchn

Wedding Music

15 Sep

One of the first (and definitely the easiest) vendor hiring decisions we made was our DJ, Michael Edwards of All Star Entertainment. The Milton Hoosic Club (our venue), has a really great stage, but we weren’t up for the legwork of scouting a band (after the most stressful and comprehensive wedding venue search of all time) and we were pretty sold on this particular DJ after hearing him work our friends’ Mallory and George’s wedding, so the decision was easy. And let me tell you — their dance floor was packed! We knew he’d play great music so we were really happy with the decision.

…But a little insurance never hurts and I love to make lists so I put together a list of what I consider great wedding music with some help from my mom, and sent it to our DJ with bated breath. And he was really impressed.

And just like Mallory and George, our dance floor was completely packed. So here it is:

Wendy & Brian Wedding Music

– During dinner service/dinner, could you play “Be our guest” from “Beauty and the Beast”?
– We’d get up and dance between courses if some waltz, Sinatra-type, or other slow tempo songs were played
– Please don’t play any obscure Michael Jackson

We’re sure you’d play a lot of these (below) anyway and trust your judgment, but we just wanted to get them on paper as our favs. Bolded are our absolute must plays.

Tunes we love – Slow tempo
Theme from New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
You are so beautiful –Joe Cocker
At Last – Etta James
Kevin Devine – You are the Daybreak
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
The Way You Look Tonight – Sinatra
Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
Moon Dance – Van Morrison
Save the Best for Last – Vanessa Williams
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
Better Together – Jack Johnson
Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered
When a Man Loves Woman – Percy Sledge

Tunes we love – Fast tempo
Run Around Sue – Dion & The Belmonts (*Bride Favorite)
Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
You’re the One That I Want – John Travolta + Olivia Newton-John
I Get Around – The Beach Boys
Staying Alive – BeeGees (*Bride Favorite)
Do you love me – The Contours  (*Bride Favorite)
Shout – Blues Brothers
Celebration – Kool and the gang
Dancing queen – Abba
Love shack – b-52’s
It’s Raining Men
Boogie Man – KC and the Sunshine Band
Get Down Tonight – KC and the Sunshine Band
I love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
One Way or Another – Blondie
You Spin Me ‘Round – Dead or Alive
Super Freak – Rick James
Walk this way – Aerosmith
Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses
Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
The Way you Make me Feel – Michael Jackson
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Beat It- Michael Jackson

Ice, Ice, Baby – Vanilla Ice
Pump Up The Jam – Dee-Lite
Let’s Get Retarded – The Black Eyed Peas
Pump it -The Black Eyed Peas
Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
We Found Love – Rihanna, Calvin Harris
Last Friday Night – Katy Perry – (*Bride loves either Katy Perry song)
California Girls – Katy Perry
Domino – Jessie James
Hey Ya! -OutKast
In Da Club – 50 cent

Marry You – Bruno Mars
Lady Marmalade – new version from Moulin Rouge soundtrack
Apple Bottom Jeans
Like a Prayer – Madonna
Material Girl – Madonna – (*Bride Favorite)

Hypnotize – The Notorious BIG
Get Low – Lil Jon
Salt n’ Pepper – Push It
This is how we do it – Montel Jordan

Do Not Play
Chicken Dance
Two Hops One Stomp … whatever that one is
Friday – Rebecca Black
Please don’t play any obscure Michael Jackson

These are OK (if the crowd is feeling it)
Cotton Eye Joe
Electric Slide

To put the list together, I just thought of my favorite dance music. I’m not a radio person, so if you felt like the music was a little vintage, there is a reason: That’s the good stuff! And I love oldies and grew up on Bedtime Magic with David Allen Boucher, so those have their place too. Initially I made one jumbled list, but thought it’d be easier to organize by tempo and roughly organize by era so our DJ could pull from them at a glance. And just to be fair, I did ask my darling groom what his favorites were, but he agreed that all were great and he liked my “bride’s favorites” as well, so I didn’t call them out. Hah! Anyways, I didn’t realize at the time, but I organized this music list roughly from slower to older to newer, which corresponded perfectly with our seated dinner reception, and the note to play slow danceable stuff during service/dinner was great because we got in a lot of the slow ones I really had my heart set on, then got a lot of the older folks up right after dinner with some of the classic oldies everyone appreciates. Then hit the classics to get everyone. Makes me want to go dance right now!

It was a blast and we’ll never forget it. Anyways, hope this helps some of the brides-to-be out there!

xoxo, Wendy + Brian