Author Archives: heidi

Sweet Friday // Fondant Recipe

Well, we’ve found that the general conception of fondant is that it’s pretty to look at, but not so awesome to eat (and everyone just peels it off to get to the real frosting and cake underneath). So if you’re going to go to all the work to detail your cake in fondant, then here’s a recipe you might enjoy.

MARSHMALLOW FONDANT
What You Need:
4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
4 cups powdered sugar (plus a little extra for dusting — optional)
2 tsp water
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
Gel colors to color fondant as desired

What You Do:
1. Place your mini marshmallow and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute, until they are puffy and melted.
2. Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted all the way, put back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
3. Add clear vanilla and mix well.
4. Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar (1 cup), stir until smooth. Add another cup of the powdered sugar and stir. It will become sticky and very difficult to stir.
5. Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
6. Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together. It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency. Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/cutting board.
7. Smooth in gel to desired color.
8. Roll out and cut to start decorating your cake.

NOTES
Recommendations for use: Refrigerate overnight.
Recommendations for storage: Put the fondant in a tightly wrapped container in the fridge. It’s good for about a week.

Source: Erica O’Brien

Sweet Friday // 10 things you should know about fondant

Whether you’re making your own cake, having a family friend make the cake or ordering a cake from a local vendor, WE thought these fondant fun facts might be helpful to you. Keep these in mind when you’re planning out what you want your cake to look like and what type of frosting you want to use.

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1. Fondant can be refrigerated. Humidity control is important for fondant to be cooperative. And it can also be kept in the fridge for a week.
2. Keep colored fondant out of direct sunlight. Any kind of light — even electric light can fade the fondant. For example, a lavender color turns a blue-ish hue in the sunlight. To prevent color changes, keep your cake and decorations in a dark place or covered.
3. Fondant is not ideal for all designs. Fondant’s gummy property makes it great as an icing, but terrible for certain design work because it won’t hold its shape, vertical or horizontal lines, sugar flowers and the like can be difficult to execute with fondant.
4. Fondant won’t make an imperfect cake look perfect. Skillfully covered fondant cakes are deceptive: the fondant looks so impeccably smooth, many assume that it’s easy and/or it’s the ultimate solution for getting that perfect finish.
5. Fondant tastes better than you might think. Many people are under the impression that fondant tastes bad — but not all fondants are made the same. This is where it becomes important to go in for a cake tasting. Sometimes it’s not the taste, but rather the gummy texture that people don’t like. Don’t let that turn you off from using it though — since it hardens a bit, it’s easy for guests to peel it off if they don’t like it.
6. It’s (sometimes) easier to cover a large cake than a smaller one. Many people are intimidated by a larger cake, but it’s really the proportion that makes it easier. A cake that is taller than it is wide, is more challenging than a cake that is wider than it is tall.
7. Fondant will be affected by temperature and humidity. When fondant is cold, it tends to stiffen, when it’s warm, it gets soft and droopy and then when it’s humid, it gets sticky. Think about the time of year and time of day you are having your wedding and that will help you decide how to tackle this issue.
8. Water and fondant don’ mix. Water droplets will dissolve the sugar in the fondant, leaving small marks on an otherwise perfectly smooth surface. If you’re afraid of it getting wet (especially if it’s raining on your big day), make sure the cake is boxed for transport. Brides getting fresh flowers on their cake should communicate to their florist that the flowers must be absolutely dry before being placed on the cake.
9. It’s expensive. You get what you pay for so we’d advice staying away from the cheaper fondants. Specialty fondants are definitely pricier, but if you calculate all the sleep you’d probably lose over fondant that sweats, cracks or bulges, it’s well worth the investment.
10. Use pre-colored fondant. If you’re making your own cake, choose to buy pre-colored fondant. Otherwise, you run the risk of drying it out or spending hours just to get the right color.

Cake: Alotta Brownies
Source: Erica O’Brien

Makeover Monday // 6 tips for healthier skin

Besides the dress, your face is going to be the most prominent focus point for the people looking at you on your wedding day — and in your wedding photos, which is why it’s important to look absolutely radiant. And what’s the best way to do that you might ask? Well, we’ve got a few tips here for you:

1. Drink more water. Water is vital for every process in the body and especially for your skin.
2. Eat more soluble fiber. Most women lack fiber in their diets. By adding crunchy, sweet, apples to your diet, your body and skin will begin to see the results.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This one probably goes without saying, but a healthy diet will help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins instead of fatty, carb-loaded meals. Lots of Vitamin C will give you that younger, healthier skin.
4. Eat healthy fats. Essential fatty acids are necessary to lose weight, keep your heart healthy, fight off inflammation, keep your hormones in balance and prevent cancer. Do I need to say more? Eat ‘em.
5. Protect yourself from the sun. I mean really. You don’t need to spend hours and hours in a tanning bed or laying outside in the sun. Darker skin hues might be a must-have for young adults to feel pretty, but it’s completely unnecessary. Next to water, one of the most important ways to take  care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of skin exposure causes wrinkles, age spots and increased risk of skin cancer. Best time to avoid the sun? 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. USE SUNSCREEN!
6. Don’t smoke. Unless you want wrinkles, decreased blood flow, oxygen and nutrients, and overall damaged skin, just don’t smoke. Plus, think of all the money you could spend on your wedding if you didn’t buy packs on packs of cigarettes and then then beauty products to try and reduce the wrinkles you created?

Get Fit // Yoga

It’s important to look your best on your wedding day — obviously. But even more important is that you FEEL your best. Yoga is a popular way to boost your health and we’ve searched around for the top 10 reasons you should practice yoga.

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1. STRESS RELIEF. Everyone knows that planning a wedding can be a stressful time and no one wants to turn into bridezilla. It’s important to your overall health to keep your stress levels down. That way, you have a clear head for making those big decisions during the wedding planning process and you have less of a chance of getting sick before the big day. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body by encouraging relaxation. It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system. Another plus? Yoga eases symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
2. PAIN RELIEF. Yoga has been proven to be important to reducing the physical pain for people with cancer, arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.
3. BETTER BREATHING. Come the day of the wedding, you might be nervous. Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This is also helpful in triggering the body’s relaxation response in case something goes wrong (i.e. the flowers don’t show up on time) on your wedding day.
4. FLEXIBILITY. Planning on getting your best dance moves on for the reception? Well, we don’t want you hurting yourself and practicing yoga will help improve your flexibility, increasing the range of movement (and reducing any aches and pains you may have after furiously dancing the night away).
5. INCREASED STRENGTH. You’re probably going to need some muscles to carry all those gifts out to the car. Yoga postures use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe.
6. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. What did we say about feeling your best on your wedding day?Yoga encourages healthy eating habits and provides a stronger sense of well-being and self-esteem.
7. IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Because when is good circulation a bad thing? Never — that’s the answer. Yoga helps to efficiently move blood to the body’s cells.
8. CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING. You don’t have to run a marathon to improve your cardiovascular system but that walk down the aisle might seem to drag on. Even gentle yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate, increase endurance and improve your oxygen uptake (for when you ever decide to run a marathon).
9. BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT. Better posture is going to help you look slimmer and feel better longer during your wedding. Relieving any back, neck, joint and muscle pain you may have.
10. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. Last but not least is to focus on the present and be engaged in every moment and aspect of your big day. Yoga helps to focus and become more aware and to help create mind-body health. It improves coordination, reaction time and memory.
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Source: Yoga Alliance
Photos: cloudnineni

Invitation Inspiration

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There’s nothing like a jaw-dropping laser-cut invitation to attract and hold your guests’ attention. Precision designs with contrasting punches of color and letterpress scrollwork are popular in today’s stationery suites. Order form a stationery book, or work with an invitation designer who does custom work. If you can dream it, somebody can make it.Lace_0019
Leather envelopes with a touch of gold aren’t the type of invitations to be tossed out, but kept and talked about for years.WEideashow13_0022WEideashow13_0010 WEideashow13_0012 WEideashow13_0014 WEideashow13_0015 WEideashow13_0016 WEideashow13_0017

Invitations found at the Wedding Essentials Idea Show.
Created by Meldeen.
Photos: Heidi Hoffman

 

Floral Trends

PUNCHES OF COLOR
If you put stock in Pantone’s Color Report (W.E. do!), spring is sowing a gorgeous palette of traditional pastels laced with random pops of vibrant hues. Put your maids in a neutral tone or a pastel pulled from your bouquets, and watch your color scheme com alive.
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MOUNDS OF BABY’S BREATH
No longer just a filler, baby’s breath is going solo in a big way. Inexpensive, readily available and long-lasting, baby’s breath mounds beautifully. It’s a great choice for orb-like bouquets, centerpieces and chandeliers.formals_50mm-3

FEATHERY FERNS
Move over succulents. Ferns have arrived – and they arent’ just adding texture to bouquets and centerpieces. Entire wedding themes are being built around them. Feather-like ferns look romantic on their own as table runners and chair accents, and as motifs for invitations, programs, place cards and other printed pieces. '14 Spring Wedding Essentials 13

LESS IS MORE
Instead of a single, large centerpiece in the center of the tables, cluster small bud vases and bottles of various heights and shapes. Fill each with an amazing large bloom, such as a peony, hydrangea, large gerbera daisy or orchid.ceremony_50mm-131

PLANNING TIP
Delay hiring a florist until you’ve selected your venue and date, and make sure you have secured your other main vendors, including the caterer, photographer and entertainment. You’ll have a better sense of what your decor budget is and what type of ambiance you want to create. Six or seven months out should be a safe bet. Expect to spend 8-10 percent of your total budget on flowers.

Photos: Molly & Ella Wedding Photography, Hooton Images