With so many venue options to choose from these days, a bride and groom can really have some tough choices to make. Barn, hotel, conservancy, outdoor- there are lots of decisions to make just on location alone.
Many years ago I went to a wedding on the Gateway Clipper. I remember it being magical because as the sun went down, the city of Pittsburgh lit up. It was beautiful to sit on the top level and watch the sparkly city lights go by. The water was soothing; it was a night to remember.
I recently visited the Gateway Clipper to see what’s sailing. The good news is there are lots of great wedding packages to choose from. If you’re thinking you want something different, consider calling Steve Anderson at (412) 355-7980 for more details. Visit the Gateway Clipper websiteand see the options. You and your fiance can choose to be married on the top deck as the ship sails through the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh!
This is an option worth checking out. ClickHERE to be sent to the Gateway Clipper’s Wedding page and Happy Sailing!
Katherine’s Daughter Events is proud to announce our Summer 2016 sponsorship of Honey Parties byBeefuddled Farms! Jim and Michelene Cain have just launched their website, BeefuddledFarms.com and it contains lots of information on their honey business. We are bee-yond excited to fill you in on all the details!
If you are wondering what the beeswax you will do at a Honey Party, let us tell you! In a safe environment (no rambo bees!) you will learn all about bees, eat the honey you help harvest (atop a dish of vanilla ice cream and honey graham teddy bears- YUM!), and go home with a sample jar of honey. You will also find out what you can do to protect pollinators!
The cost is $10 per person, payable on the day of the party. You need to rsvp ahead of timeas only a limited number of attendees are accepted. If you have multiple children or grandchildren, please tell Michelene in an email and she will work with you on an affordable price. Make reservations or ask Michelene any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a great way to spend a summer day! Learn more about bees and pollination in a family friendly environment. Additional jars of honey will be available that day for purchase. Email Michelene today email@example.com to reserve your spot. Check out Beefuddled Farms website by clicking HERE.
We look forward to seeing you at a Honey Party this summer! To read about last summer’s Honey Party, click HERE.
When I received the first early copies of my book, I gave one to the mother of my granddaughter Penelope. Jessica is my friend and the partner of my son John. She is the manager of the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Allegheny Valley, PA.
As luck would have it, Jessica, Penelope and I went on a little field trip yesterday. We visited another Restore and stopped for lunch afterwards. We talked about how to market my book and Jess offered to do a review for me. I took her up on the offer!
So here, without any further ado, are Jessica’s thoughts on “Ordinary IS Extraordinary.”
When I read Ordinary IS Extraordinary I was nursing my infant daughter, Penelope, and read most of it out loud to her.
We cried at different parts for different reasons…
I had tears in my eyes when Joanne shared her journey of rediscovering her faith and loving herself. I smiled as I pictured her as an awkward young person. Looking down at Penny while we read, I couldn’t help wondering if she would face some of the same challenges in life.
I was inspired by Joanne’s discoveries of growth, as the lens she saw both the world and herself through, changed as her experiences colored the glass.
When I closed the book..I found myself savoring so much of her insights, that I let out a huge breath I didn’t know I was holding…and with it a burden I didn’t realize was there. As for Penelope, she always loves hearing her Nana’s adventures, even when she’s hungry.
Grab a cup of Jo, your favorite snack, and devote a morning or afternoon to walking in her footsteps. I know you’ll enjoy the landscape. The writing is honest and you’ll feel as though she is sitting across from you on that lounge chair, having a coffee, sharing in your delight along the way.
From Jessica Levine
Jessica, thank you so much for your beautiful words!
Click HERE to order my book on Amazon. There’s a Kindle version too! You may want to order two books ;), one for you and one for a friend.
When you read Ordinary IS Extraordinary, I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts. If you are a blogger that writes on spirituality, I would be happy to send you a book to review.
“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”
― Roman Payne
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I believe there are no coincidences. A friend of mine likes to say, “Is it Odd or is it God?”. Spiritual paths and journeys can cross with others at any time. I’ve been blessed to have this happen to me many times.
One of those times was last fall when I was contacted by a friend of mine to discuss a business idea. Tracy and I met for coffee and we had a great talk. During that time I mentioned my blog and spiritual journey, and my quest for putting together a small inspirational book. “Ordinary into Extraordinary” was the working title of the project. Tracy told me she wanted to host an empowerment weekend for women in the spring of 2016. “Can you finish your book by then?” she said.
Always being up for a challenge (and a good kick in the butt), I said yes. At first I was editing my favorite blog posts for a compilation book. This was the initial idea but by month two I was bored, restless, and trying to decide what to do. Enter my fellow blogging goddess, Sunday’s Child. A long talk from west to east coast, lots of encouragement, and a brave idea emerged. Begin a new book, write like there’s no tomorrow, and finish it by the retreat.
As if that wasn’t enough God power for me, enter Karen of BetterBe Creative. I met her just a couple of years ago and she is another goddess. A graphic designer with a beautiful, comforting personality, she has agreed to take on the task of designing my first cover. And guess what? She knows a publisher who can print the book. I’m self-publishing so figuring everything out is up to me and Karen. (PS. this book will eventually be available through the web for purchase- YAY!)
A few nights ago I had the honor and pleasure of meeting the other speakers. Joy Bufalini is missing from this picture (she had to leave first) but trust me, she is as awesome as rest of us.
After we each introduced ourselves and told our little story, I was infused with gratitude for what God has brought together. Tracy and Mary have organized this retreat at the beautiful Antiochian Village in the quaint town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania.The dates are April 1-2. We are motivated entrepreneurs and have all been through the school of hard knocks. We will share our stories with you at the retreat and tell you how we have taken our lemon filled lives and made lemonade.
I realized at our little dinner that this will be a retreat about self love and self care. We the speakers will encourage you to lift yourself up and move beyond the blocks that may be holding you back. The friendship and love we will show you will be with you for a long time. You will be changed by this weekend I promise you.
Click HERE for the registration link to the Women’s Empowerment Weekend.
Check out the agenda!
I will be staying Friday and Saturday. Come and join us and be transformed.
We love to hear true love stories and Nichole and Arnold have one of the best we have ever heard. Their wedding will be this summer at Stonebridge Farm Nursery, Big Sewickley Creek Road, Economy, Pennsylvania. Nichole loves the book “The Secret Garden” (by Frances Hodgson Burnett) and is modeling her wedding after it. There will be lots of roses, ivy and ferns. Joanne ironically just read “My Secret Garden” again after many years before signing onto to coordinate Nichole’s wedding!
We asked Nichole how she and Arnold met and fell in love. She told us the whole story and honestly, we couldn’t say it any better!
“On July 10, 2014 I was leaving dinner with a friend in Squirrel Hill when I decided that I just wasn’t ready to call it a night. I love to go salsa dancing, but during the school year I don’t get many chances to go. So, I decided to take advantage of a summer Thursday evening and went to Seviche downtown for their Latin night. I went by myself, which is something I never do, so I was a bit nervous as I sat down by the bar. I wanted to have a better view, so I attempted to turn my tall chair around without bumping the person next to me. I was unsuccessful and after bumping a chair, I heard the person next to me say, “Are you alright there?” I was a little embarrassed but we ended up talking and he asked me to dance (bachata). I’ll never forget seeing that first smile of his, so warm and captivating. Through conversation that followed we realized that we had been living a block away from each other in Sewickley for the past 3 years!! He had been taking his neighborhood runs past my front door for the past three years and we never once ran into each other. We even had both worked in Moon and both went to the same gym.”
Nichole said they spent the next hour or so dancing and talking until a group of her friends happened to walk in the door. Arnold may have thought she was taken and so he thanked her for the dance and politely walked away. Nichole was disappointed he didn’t stick around and so she was relieved that he showed up before she left and asked to see her again!
More of Nichole’s own words. “We’ve talked so many times about how many things had to fall into place for us to meet that day. He wasn’t planning on going out but had decided to give a friend a ride at the last minute. One of my favorite little details is that he had picked up his friend that night at a house that was on the same street as the house he would purchase a year later and where he would propose to me! He didn’t even realize it until after we were engaged!”
“We have found such joy and love together, and our story is so special to both of us. Arnold brought me a single red rose on our first date and we have decided to carry that symbol of love and beauty into the theme of the wedding. We also chose ivy since it is a symbol of fidelity and friendship. We both feel so blessed that God would allow us to meet and brought us together at just the right moment. We are so excited to share our commitment to the love and friendship we have found in each other with all of our loved ones. Oh and I bet you can guess what type of dance our first dance will be!”
Nichole and Arnold, we are so looking forward to your wedding! Congratulations and Best Wishes!
Are you the Christmas host or hostess? We entertain often during the holidays and we’ll tell you- it’s not too late to get it together without being frazzled. Check out our tried and true holiday entertaining tips and have your holiday down pat!
What type of party are you having? Whether you are inviting guests to your home for a quiet evening, Christmas eve or day dinner, or a big holiday party, clearly define your vision. Cozy dinner and drinks, large holiday soiree, orhot chocolate party; think it out beforehand and decide exactly what you’d like to do.
Decide on your budget. Easier said than done but this is an important step in the process. Consider whether you want to spend extra money on themed decor or paper products or if you’d rather put your money into different types of food, drinks, or dessert offerings.
Take care of the core meal. We’ve had a few lessons learned when delegating important parts of the meal to guests who are (ahem) a bit unreliable. Take care of the core meal yourself- meat, potato, bread, vegetable- and then add extra dishes by spotlighting what your guests or family members can bring.
Make a list. Write down everything you’re going to need. If you haven’t started your list yet, this is the time to do it.
Shop as you go. It’s better to get a few things everytime you’re out and about than to wait until the week of the party and do it ALL. Plus, it’s easier on your finances as well. Get your paper products one day. Buy wine and other alcoholic purchases another. Save the perishables for the week of the party so those are fresh.
Do as much as you can at home before the big day. Can you set your dining room table a day or two ahead of time? Consider making a timeline for the day of and the days leading up to the party. The more you do beforehand the easier your life will be. Imagine taking a hot bath or a nap a few hours before dinner. You can do that if you plan ahead.
Set things up so all you have to do is minimal maintenance. If you have to constantly heat appetizers in the oven, you will be in the kitchen all night! Think of ways to prepare, serve and replenish food that does not involve constant kitchen time- like using chafers, or serving a few (cold) platters of cheeses, bread, and olives and a (hot) dinner. Or recruit a shy family member(s) to be in charge of heating appetizers and food.
Enjoy your own event! Put your favorite dress on, light the candles, and pour the bubbly. Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and mingle with guests. (Monitor your own alcohol consumption if you are in charge of the entire meal- no one likes a drunk hostess!) Do your best to keep an eye on things, but also expect that mishaps may occur that no one anticipates. Spills, and other minor stuff can happen but be a sport and smile and solve the issue. Don’t be a drama queen if things fall apart. Just keep going!
Have a plan for the next day. Do some clean up but also have a good day of rest. Heat up any leftovers for dinner and save a bottle of wine for yourself. Don’t give in to the urge to put everything away in a single day. Just relax and reflect on your great party!
If you follow these ideas, you’ll be sure and have it all together! Relax and enjoy yourself at your own party!
It was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for traveling near and far. Many guests came to wish Jessica and John showers of happiness for their new baby, Penelope Katherine, due on John’s own birthday of January 9.
We all love nature and the Walter J. Brannon Community Center in Sewickley, Pennsylvania highlighted the gorgeous wooded surroundings. Jessica chose a theme of Children’s Storybooks for her shower. Here’s how we wove the invitation, food, books, cookies and cupcakes together for a magical experience.
The centerpieces were pop up books, such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, Narnia, and others that Jessica found on Amazon.com. The invitation was on Etsy –Once Upon a Time There Lived Parents to Be- by OliviaKateDesigns.
Jessica’s favorite colors are yellow and green so we went with happy lime green linens on the round tables of guests, and white on the rectangular food, gift, and cupcakes tables. At each place setting was a “Penelope” cookie. Diane Stewart of Sweet Bites Cookies did a fabulous job on these beautiful cookies!
Now for the snacks. From our own library of children’s books we chose Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham (deviled eggs and mini slider sandwiches). Next to a pumpkin patch book, we had a warm crockpot of an easy-to-make pumpkin soup. By the different salads, we had the classic book, A Secret Garden.
What’s a sandwich without pickles? Pickles to Pittsburgh!
At the coffee and drink table, we chose another Dr. Seuss book, Mr. Brown Can Moo next to the coffee creamer. On the dessert table, we highlighted the beautiful “Penelope” banner, made by our thoughtful and oh- so- kind blogger friend from Washington State, Sunday’s Child!
The cupcakes were extra special. John’s sister Michelene, and father Jim are beekeepers so we had Brandi Hugar of Event Cakes PGH do a honey vanilla cupcake! The batter included Beefuddled Farms delicious honey! The cupcakes were decorated with cream cheese icing and marzipan bees.
The cupcakes were next to a ball mason jar of zinnias, lavender, and mint from John’s mother’s garden. Jessica picked Ruby Lee and the Bumble Bee children’s book for this table.
During the opening of the gifts, John’s sister Michelene and her friend Stephanie treated the guests to a fun storybook game. Each table was a team and took turns answering questions of quotes from famous children’s books. (Email us through our contact tab and we’ll be happy to send you the questions!). All guests received a two ounce honey sample from Beefuddled Farms to take home as their prize!
We so enjoyed planning this storybook shower for Jessica and John. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this day such a happy memory for all!
Sewickley Village held their annual Wine Walk this year on November 4 and wow, what a crowd! I arrived in town alittle after 5pm and already the streets were lined with people ready to check in and receive their list of participating businesses.
I came mainly to visit Cuttingsfor their annual Holiday House. Jim Price and his staff outdo themselves every year and create such a feast for the eyes. Everywhere you look are magnificent Christmas trees, enchanting displays and wonderful gifts for family and friends alike.
It’s so worth a ride to Sewickley to visit Cuttings. While you are there, check out the many new (and old) businesses! Make a reservation at Vivo Kitchenand top the evening off with a delicious dinner.
Take one barn, one beautiful couple, and a whole lot of amazing family and what do you have? Danina and Preston’s wedding! There couldn’t have been a more beautiful back drop than the Barn at Soergel Hollow for this beautiful September Sunday. There were so many vintage touches- from the milk glass vases, to the sweetheart table, to the mason jar glasses for all.
We loved Danina’s beautiful gown and Preston’s laid back bow tie look. Sunflowers were everywhere, including the groom’s lapel and the table centerpieces. The awesome meal was catered by Steve Thompson of Bluebird Kitchen. He worked under some pretty rustic conditions and his food was amazing. Pulled pork, barbequed chicken, roasted vegetables. Everything was delicious!
As the evening sky grew dark, the vista around the Barn was absolutely breathtaking. The guests had a massive cookie table and DJ Lea Guarino to keep them going. We are certain that Danina and Preston will have memories and love to last a lifetime!
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Henry David Thoreau
Don’t you just love this time of year? The leaves are turning golden yellow, orange, and red. There is a chill in the air. Pumpkin everything is available- coffee, donuts, pumpkin pie, you name it.
One of my favorite places to experience the fall season is McConnell’s Farm. Established in 1787, it is one of the oldest farms operated by a single family west of the Allegheny Mountains. If you love rustic, this is the place to visit. It takes a bit of navigation to get there, but only a tad. It’s about five minutes off of the Hopewell exit of 376. There’s good signage and google maps should take you there easily.
When you drive up to the barn, it’s a feast for the eyes. Pumpkins, mums, haybales await. Walk inside and sniff. Right now, it’s all about apples. Lots and lots of apples! Gala, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and on and on. Bags of 1/2 peck, little baskets of ’em, they are everywhere. You could easily get what you need here to make a fantastic pie.
Along the side of the barn are bins of very fresh vegetables. Potatoes, kale, onions, fresh garlic, and numerous squashes. Up on the blackboard was a recipe for spaghetti squash that so inspired me I bought one! I can’t wait to bake it and top with some of my husband’s fresh honey.
McConnell’s Farm is a CSA or Community Shared Agriculture Farm. How it works is you pay them a set amount (their website says $288) before the season and they use this to support the farm. This entitles you weekly visits and $20 free fruit and vegetables per week for seventeen weeks of summer. Visit their website for more information- HERE.
On my most recent visit, I also bought fresh cider, a bundle of kale (5 huge stems for a $1), and some delicious potatoes. That evening, I created a side dish of sauteed sweet onions, kale, and potatoes. I sprinkled fragrant dill from my own herb garden and added a fresh squeeze of lemon. Can I tell you? It. Was. Amazing.
This weekend, consider taking a ride and visiting this wonderful farm. Be prepared to be inspired. You’ll love McConnell’s Farm.