Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn Inspiration

I am from Southern California and here we don't really see the changing of the seasons. September is still hot and sometimes it's hot even into October. Our trees don't change colors and we have to drive for awhile before we can see a farm or pick apples. However, I love the colors and texture of the season. I am also a October baby so I have always been fascinated by Autumn. So this is a little sampling of the feeling of fall even if it doesn't seem like fall where you live and you have to manufacture it.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Beverage Monday. Torani Syrups

Torani has many flavors of non alcoholic syrups. You can use them in a variety of ways, even to flavor foods while cooking. They are what most coffee shops use to flavor their drinks. They also come in sugar-free flavors. Check out their website to see all their flavors.

Italian Soda{mocktail}
2 Tbsp. any flavor Torani Syrup
Soda Water
Combine the ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice.

Comangua Cooler {mocktail}
2 Tbsp. Torani Guava syrup
1/2 cup coconut juice
1/2 cup mango nectar
1/4 cup sparkling water or club soda
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice and stir well.

The Wave{mocktail}
3 Tbsp. Torani Watermelon syrup
1 Tbsp. Torani passion Fruit syrup
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sparkling water or club soda
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker glass filled with ice, shake well and pour into a cocktail glass.

Torani Peach Navel{mocktail}
2 tbsp. Torani Peach syrup
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sparkling water or club soda
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice and stir gently.

Pomegranate Torantini{cocktail}
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 oz. Torani Pomegranate syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Torani Havana Night{cocktail}
2 Tbsp. Torani Sugar Free Coconut syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp. Torani Sugar Free Coffee syrup
2 Tbsp. dark rum
6 Tbsp. cream
lime wedge for garnish, if desired
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and blended. Strain into a cocktail glass.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

75th Post

photo courtesy of Bill Ely.

This is my diamond post. 75 is usually represented by Diamonds. So let's talk about them!
The Four C's

CARAT is the diamond weight.
  • Carat is a measure of weight not of size.
  • One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.
  • One carat can also be divided into 100 “points.” A .75 carat diamond is the same as a 3/4 carat diamond.
  • Cut and mounting can make a diamond appear larger or even smaller than its actual weight.

CLARITY How many flaws {inclusions} does the diamond have?

  • Naturally-occurring features {inclusion} provide a special fingerprint within the stone.
  • Inclusions may look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers.
  • The position of inclusions can affect the value of a diamond.
  • Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection, known as clarity.
  • Some inclusions can be hidden by a mounting, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond less brilliant.
  • The greater a diamond's clarity, the more brilliant, valuable and rare it is.

COLOR How colorless is the diamond?

  • Diamonds are found in almost every color of the rainbow, but white-colored diamonds remain most popular.
  • Truly colorless stones are treasured for their rarity.
  • Diamonds also naturally come in intense shades of blue, green, yellow, orange, pink or red.
  • These diamonds are called ‘colored fancies’ and are extremely rare and highly treasured.

CUT is the shape the diamond is cut into.

  • Nature determines so much about a diamond, but it takes a master cutter to reveal the stone’s true brilliance, fire and ultimate beauty.
  • Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and it loses its value.
  • Cut also refers to shape—round, square, pear, or heart for example.
  • A round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters. It is the most brilliant.
  • Non-round shapes, are called fancy cuts.

Diamond Facts

  • Diamonds were formed long before the dinosaurs were here. The youngest diamond is about 900 million years old. The oldest was formed over 3 billion years ago.
  • Diamonds are like snowflakes, no two are alike.
  • The rarest diamond color is red.
  • The first diamonds came from India over 2800 years ago.
  • Each stone usually loses about half of its weight during the cutting and polishing phase.
  • Less than 5% of all the diamonds made into jewelry are larger than one carat.
Happy Reading,

The Four C'S and Diamond facts taken in part from A Diamond Is Forever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's JAM

I just went to an industry event called the LA JAM. Here are a few photos of that event. It was held at the Pasadena Convention Center which is in the middle of a renovation. It will be completed in the Spring of 2009.

This is the outdoor lounge and liquid dance floor that greeted you as you entered.

The lounges were furnished by FormDecor. The florals by SPASE Las Vegas.

This food display is by the Pasadena Convention Center catering company Boston Culinary Group.

She is from Champagne Showgirls. Kinda of a cool concept. She had a few different appetizers on her 'table'. They have different costumes for differnt occasions.

This would be a fun Save the Date.

They take two photos of you and then put them together. It was kinda hard for me to take a photo of the two different poses! by Get Flipped.

A lot of photo booth companies are now making scrapbooks/memory books of your guests photos and their well wishes. Some even do them at the event. These are from Four Quick Clicks.

I wrote about Images on Chocolate in June but I didn't have an image of me. So here is my image and my son enjoying eating his mommy's face a little too much!

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Favors for Charity

fa·vor /fey-ver/1. a small gift, decorative or festive item, often distributed to guests at a party. 2. a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc.

In this age being socially responsible there are several different ways you can favor your guests for coming to your wedding and also help out those in need.
is a company that lets you give to the charity of your choice. They have a list of some of the most common divided by type. You place cards on the tables to let your guests know that you gave a donation to a specific charity in lieu of giving a traditional favor.
is another company that contributes to a favorite charity, but in this case you give your guests a chocolate truffle, boxed and wrapped in a ribbon color of your choice, with a card explaining your contribution. They give a portion of the cost of the truffle to your charity.

American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association let you make contributions directly to them and they give you scrolls or table cards for your guests. You can also make a donation to the ASPCA.

Happy Reading,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beverage Monday.

Fall Cocktails

Today is the Autumn Equinox, the first day of fall. So here are some fall inspired cocktails to start off the season.

Autumnal Equinox
2 oz Port
1 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Amaretto
Fill Old Fashioned Glass with ice. Pour ingredients into glass and stir. Recipe courtesy of The Webtender.

CotoƱo Mexicano {Mexican Autumn}
1 oz. El Patron (Gold) Tequila 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
6 oz. Coffee
Combine ingredients in a mug. Top with whipped cream then sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Recipe courtesy of Cocktail.com

DeKuyper Apple Pie
1 part DeKuyper HotDamn! 30 Proof Cinnamon Schnapps
1 part DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple Schnapps
2 parts ABSOLUT Vodka
Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and an apple slice.
Recipe courtesy of Drink of the Week.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Venues of the Southland~The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is a spectacular art deco venue and hotel located in Long Beach. Her maiden voyage was in 1936 and she has been berthed here since 1967. She is 1,019.5 feet long with 12 decks. She went on 1001 transatlantic crossings and could hold 1957 passaengers.

You can get married inside in the Royal Wedding Chapel {160 guests} 0r you can get married outside on the Verandah Deck {350 guests} or the Gazebo on the Sun Deck {100 guests}.

There are also a few different Salons for your reception.

The Grand Salon was the First Class Dining Room. It can hold up to 600 people for dinner and dancing.

This is the Queen's Salon, you can have up to 300 guests in here. Originally it was the First Class Main Salon.

The Royal Salon was the First Class Smoking Salon. It can hold up to 160 guests.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mexican Inspiration Board

In honor of this week's Mexican Independence Day I thought we should feature a Mexican Inspiration Board. Mexico is a very colorful place. So this one features the many colors of Mexico and also a couple of must haves at Mexican weddings.

  • Almost all Mexican weddings (bodas) include a Mariachi Band.
  • These favors include milagros. Little religious medals. From Brides.
  • This is at Hacienda Las Trancas, located in the heart of Mexico, about 4 hours northwest of Mexico City, in Guanajuato.
  • This floral cake is from The Knot.
  • The Los Muertos cake topper was found on Brides.
  • The fountain picture was taken at Las Trancas.
  • How about personalized Hot Sauce for a favor?
  • Arras are coins used during the Mexican wedding ceremony. A groom gives his bride 13. Arras symbolize the groom's promise to support his family.
  • Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies. Yum! From Epicurious.
  • This Table Scape was found on The Knot.
  • A little Senor and Senorita favor. Found on Santa Barbara Wedding.
  • Invitation from Exclusively Weddings.
  • Sangria photo from Eat Around the Pitt.
  • Bout from The Knot.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Beverage Monday. Happy Birthday Mexico.

Mexican Independence Day is September 16. So we are going to get the party started a little early with some Mexican Flag inspired drinks.

The Mexican Flag Shooter
1/3 shot grenadine
1/3 shot white tequila
1/3 shot green creme de menthe or Midori

Pour them slowly in order into shot glass using a bar spoon. It is also a 'flaming' shot. You light it on fire diffuse the flame after 3 seconds and suck it up with a straw.

Coctel Bandera Mexicana( Mexican Flag Cocktail)
1 1/2 shots tequila
Lime Juice
Powdered sugar
Green Grape
Slice of Jicama or banana ball

Put the lime juice and powdered sugar into a shaker. Mix thoroughly. Add ice and tequila. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a green grape, slice of jicama or banana and a cherry.

Banderita (Little Flag)
2 ounces of tequila blanco/reposado
2 ounces of natural juice/clamato
2 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice

Put each one in an individual cognac or shot glass.
Then you start with a sip on the tequila glass and continue with the tomato
juice and finish off with the lime juice. Continue these steps until you
have finished your tequila. Salt can be added to the lime juice if desired. You can add Tabasco or hot sauce to the tomato juice for taste.
Cheers and Viva Mexico!
Click on the photos for source.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Venues of the Southland

Starting this week, I am moving Venues of the Southland to Friday's. Here is a recap on the venue's I have featured so far. Click on Venues in labels to see them all.

Wayfarer's Chapel

The Aquarium of the Pacific

Greystone Mansion

The Sky Room

Hornblower Cruises and Events

Disney's Fairytale Weddings
{this wasn't part of the series but I did feature them}

Have a great Sunday,