Katherine’s Daughter

Honey Wine on a Honey Moon

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The Beautiful Dundee Farm
The Beautiful Barn at Dundee Farm, Sewickley PA.

On June  20, 2016, the Full Moon appeared on the same night as the summer solstice! It is rare and the last time this occurred was in 1948. By landing exactly on the solstice, the Full Moon didn’t just rise as the Sun set but was opposite the Sun in all other ways too.

The Sun was very high and the Moon was very low. Even in the wee morning hours, it was still low! It forced its light through thicker air, humid at this time of year, and the combination of this made the moon amber colored.  This is why the full moon during the solstice is called a Honey Moon. 🙂

To celebrate this momentous event, the perfect opportunity presented itself recently when King View Mead and Burgh Bees hosted a honey wine tasting event at Dundee Farm, a real working sheep farm in Sewickley, PA.

Wine tasting at its best!
Wine tasting at its best!

Scott Neeley is the founder, owner, and head wine maker at King View Mead. But wait, what the heck IS mead? On their website, KVM describes mead as such. “The oldest of all alcohols, mead’s history predates medieval knights, Viking exploration and the Roman empire. It even goes back before the time of the Egyptian pharaohs.  The oldest known recipe for mead is from the text Rig Veda, created 6000 years ago, and many believe it was stumbled upon by early man as they gathered honey, which fermented over time.”

Scott Neely, left, greets visitors at Dundee Farm
Scott Neely, left, and Sam Shepard, right, greet visitors at Dundee Farm

If the attendance and enthusiasm of the guests that evening is any indication, people love mead! Many guests willingly sampled the delicious wine that Scott graciously poured. Katherine’s Daughter Events, sponsor of Beefuddled Farms Honey Parties, was on hand to mingle with fellow honey and wine lovers. There were many beekeepers there as well! King View Mead is a supporter of local honey and held a drawing that night. Three beekeepers won hives.

This Bee Observation tower was very popular!
This Bee Observation tower was very popular!

Delicious munchies abounded and the gorgeous scenery around Dundee Farm was the perfect backdrop for this evening. Even the rain dared not interfere. Where will the next King Mead event bee? Check out their Facebook page for all the latest information! Katherine’s Daughter Events is looking for another perfect opportunity to collaborate with King View Mead and Beefuddled Farms on an over 21 event to give even more people the opportunity to taste mead. Stay tuned!

Twinkle Lights Dundee Farm King View Mead

 

 

 

 

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Danina and Preston’s Wedding

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Love and Sunflowers! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios
Love and Sunflowers! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios

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.

China Settings by Vintage Alley
Sweetheart Table Settings by Vintage Alley

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!

Check out more great photos from this wedding! All by Electric Lime Studios.

Rings and Stars
Rings and Stars
Love and a Kiss
First Look Love and a Kiss
Here Comes the Bride!
Here Comes the Bride!
Vows of Love
Vows of Love
Ready for Marriage! Photo courtesy Electric Lime Studios
Bow Tie Happiness
A mason jar glass for everyone!
A mason jar glass for everyone!
Sweetheart Table by Vintage Alley
Sweetheart Table by Vintage Alley
Chocolate Cake- Lori's Recipe done by The Ultimate Pastry Shop
Chocolate Cake- Lori’s Recipe done by The Ultimate Pastry Shop
The Never Ending Cookie Table
The Never Ending Cookie Table
The Guests
The Guests
Corn Row with a View
Corn Row with a View
Beautiful Lights
Beautiful Lights
The View from Soergel Hollow.
The View from Soergel Hollow.

Vendors: Click on the orange for their links!

Venue: The Barn at Soergel Hollow

Props: Vintage Alley Rentals

DJ:Guarino Group

Catering: Steve Thompson of Bluebird Kitchen

Photography: Electric Lime Studios

Table and Chair Rentals: Eventioneers

Chocolate Wedding Cake: The Ultimate Pastry Shop

Other: Almost Like Home Restrooms

Read more about this wedding on my grace and love blog- Katherine’s Daughter

 

 

 

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Outdoor Wedding? Things to Consider!

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Photo by Jessica Lubert Photography
Photo by Jessica Lubert Photography

Thinking of an outdoor wedding? There are many factors to take into consideration if you are choosing a barn or nature type setting vs. a hotel or banquet hall location. From our experience, here are the questions you need to ask yourself before making the final decision.

1. What time of year do you want to get married? If you live in an area where there are four distinct seasons, weather can have a huge effect on your wedding day. April or May, and September or October weddings can see the greatest temperature fluctuations. Plan on renting heaters if you are considering an unheated barn or your guests will not stay long after dinner. Baskets of warm blankets are also an option you may want to consider.

Sidewalls on a tent, ready to be released and rolled down in case of rain, are a must. Take home umbrellas can be the wedding favor for the guests, especially in April or early May. Check out the My Wedding Favors or Gracious Bridal links on our sidebar for some useful favor ideas.

2. You may have to rent everything. Unless you choose a venue that has its own tents, tables, chairs, dishes, cutlery, porta johns, and kitchen equipment, plan on renting all of these items. Keep in mind it costs more to have an outdoor wedding because in essence, you are re-creating a hall. The things you take for granted when you are indoors (including bathrooms) are not always available when you celebrate outdoors. Barns are usually not large enough on their own to include space for dinner and dancing. Tents are usually a necessary supplement to a barn unless it’s very large.

3. You have to plan for the worst weather. No matter what, you have to live in reality. If you want a June through August wedding, you need to plan for the heat. Spring or fall, plan for rain and chilly temps. If you are getting married next to a pond with no shade and it’s hot, provide parasols for your guests or have them under a tent. Or, offer colorful hand held fans, with ceremony details on them. Keep the ceremony to a comfortable length and have a water or lemonade table nearby. Make a rain plan just in case and don’t be afraid to implement it if the weather looks threatening.

4. Think about the physically challenged. Your grandmother, grandfather and elderly aunt may need a ride down to the pond or location of your ceremony (some outdoor venues have golf carts for this purpose). If the cocktail reception is longer than a five minute walk from the ceremony location, that’s another ride to take into consideration. Make sure there is sturdy seating for the elderly (chairs with arms are best; wooden chairs are not great!) and recruit assistants to be on standby to help those who need it.

5. There could be more rules to follow. In general, barns are next to neighbors who go to bed early. It is likely you will have a 10 or 11pm end time on your event vs. a hotel that will let you end much later. Set up times may be shorter too so you may have to adjust your decor, depending on when you can get in and when everything must be taken down.

Outdoor weddings can be beautiful. Nature is the perfect backdrop. Ask a planner or coordinator to help you think of all the options when considering a wedding under the stars, or tap the expertise of your venue coordinator. This way you will be prepared and ready for any weather or situation.

 

 

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Good Organizational Tips for Brides

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Did you get engaged over the holidays? Congratulations!
Photo by Steve Dalton Photography

If you recently became engaged, congratulations! Perhaps you have already picked out your dress, your bridesmaid’s dresses, and your venue. You are meeting with caterers, checking out favor ideas, and deciding what flowers you want to go with at your wedding.

Your happiness is important during the planning stages and up to, and including, your big day. Here are some tips you can implement to help you stay organized along the way.

1. Have a file or folder to keep all your planning notes and contracts in. Stay as organized as possible and utilize a multi slot accordian file, or at least, multiple folders with the headings of all possible categories of your wedding. Caterer, Bridesmaids, DJ, Venue, all will have different needs and in some cases, different contracts. Keeping track of your notes and paperwork will make your life easier.

2. Read the fine print. You have many things on your mind for your wedding and it’s important to have someone (a knowledgeable family friend or other neutral party) to look over the contracts, agreements, etc. that you will need to sign with your vendors. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you understand your obligations.

3. Keep track of your budget. A small notebook or ledger pad will help you keep track of all your expenses. Set reminders on your cell phone, or a hanging wall calendar to keep track of when you are due for payments to your vendors. Don’t live in la la land with your credit card. Keep track of what you are spending.

4. The more you do ahead of time, the less stressed you will be. It’s true. If you wait until the last minute on key items, not only will you pay more, but you will be frazzled at the end. Do as much as you can ahead of time and you’ll see how much easier your life will be. Make decisions on your favors, dresses, shoes, honeymoon ahead of time and breathe easier.

5. Get help. Ask family or friends to help you with tasks that feel overwhelming. Consider hiring a coordinator to assist you in staying on track. Managing stress at this time is crucial and necessary for a happy bride and groom on their wedding day.

6. Maintain your relationship with your loved one. Spend time together, have dates, keep an open dialogue about what is going on during the wedding planning process. Don’t focus obsessively on your wedding; keep it in proportion to your life and make sure you have down time.

6. Keep it simple. If you have many ideas for your wedding day and are feeling anxiety, perhaps you’re trying to do too much. You can’t do everything. Put all your ideas down (even on a Pinterest board) and decide what you can reasonably afford, and what is unnecessary. In the long run, simplicity is really elegant and you can’t go wrong with it.

7. Use a wedding app to keep all of your information together. Share photos, track rsvp’s, even monitor your wedding day weather!

These simple organizational tips will help you stay focused for your wedding day. Remember, this is about you and your groom and the celebration of your union. Keep that in mind and all will go well!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share below!

Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
Photo by Zack Wilson Photography
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Valentine’s Day Ideas

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Not sure about you but I LOVE Pinterest! While searching for the perfect idea to share with you today, I couldn’t pick just one. So here’s a medley of beautiful pins with a link to each website right underneath. Hope you are inspired to try one of these ideas for your Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry Heart Pie
Scrumptious Strawberry Heart Pie
A Valentine’s Day Surprise
Photobucket
Tissue Rosette Kissing Balls from Crepe Paper
Dah-Ling Cookies
Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberries // Not Without Salt
Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberries/Not Without Salt

 

valentine's day cocktail ideas
Valentine’s Day Cocktail Ideas
Loveheart Meringues
Love Heart Meringues

See, told you! So many great ideas! For more great Valentine’s Day ideas, click HERE to check out more of my Pinterest page!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Does A “Day of Wedding” Coordinator Do?

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The beautiful couple. Photo by Dalton Photography
The beautiful couple. Photo by Dalton Photography

We’re offering a $50 referral bonus this summer of 2015 to anyone who refers us to a bride for “day of wedding” coordination service!” Please use our handy contact tab above to send us a message. Thank you!

It’s easy for us to know exactly what to do on your wedding day. But we know this is not always clear up front. These days, your venue or caterer promises to make it all happen on your special day. That may be so. We want to provide a list of what we actually do for brides and grooms (and their families) on the Big Day. This is a good list to take to your venue or caterer. If they don’t do all or most of this, consider letting us help you.

Many brides tell us they do not want their own families setting up table decorations the morning of the wedding. We agree. The morning should be a relaxing time to get ready for what’s going to unfold!

Here’s a great list of what we really do:

2-3 Months Prior to Wedding Day

  • Meet with Bride and Groom at least twice to review all details and logistics planned for the wedding day
  • Touch base with all vendors in the month leading up to the wedding to confirm arrival time and any special needs (electrical, etc)
  • Go with Bride and Groom for their final walk through at the venue before the wedding day
  • Email all vendors a timeline the week of the wedding
  • Attend the rehearsal and coordinate all ceremony details with the officiant

Wedding Day:

Prior to Reception

  • Greet vendors and instruct them as to where to set up (i.e. band/DJ, florist, baker and caterer)
  • Make sure Cocktail Hour and Reception décor is set up according to plan
  • Make sure all flowers are set up according to floral order
  • Make sure reception décor is set up according to plan
  • For outdoor tents, make certain that lighting is arranged and working appropriately
  • Meet with catering staff to confirm food timeline
  • Arrange escort cards
  • Set up guest book, cake cutting utensils, and champagne flutes
  • Set up table numbers and menu cards
  • Set up any amenities baskets in guest restrooms
  • Set up favor table or place favors at individual seats
  • Assist catering and/or venue staff with remaining setup needs
  • Look over guest tables and head table to confirm they are set up properly
  • Review final set up before guest arrival

Ceremony Management

  • Ensure florist has delivered and set up all Ceremony floral arrangements
  • Distribute all flowers to remaining bridal party and family members
  • Set up programs and other Ceremony items i.e. guest book, unity candles, and send off items
  • Ensure that Ceremony musicians have arrived and direct them as to where to set up
  • Ensure that Ushers/Groomsmen arrive on time and are ready to escort guests
  • Ensure designated attendants arrive on time and are ready to pass out programs and assist with the guest book
  • Alert Ushers/Groomsmen as to when to begin escorting guests to their seats
  • Coordinate with the Ceremony officiator to determine signals or cues that will begin the Ceremony
  • Communicate a ‘Countdown to I Do’ with the wedding party members as the day progresses
  • Handle any emergencies that may arise
  • Line up the bridal party for their entrances down the aisle
  • Cue Ceremony musicians when bridal party is ready to begin processional
  • Gather family and bridal party for photos after the Ceremony
  • Transport items from the Ceremony location to the Reception venue and store any items not needed at the Reception (If needed)

Reception Management

  • Ensure proper flow of Cocktail Hour food and drinks
  • Encourage guests to take their seats at the appropriate time
  • Help guests locate their escort cards and dining tables
  • Locate Bride, Groom and wedding party and instruct them to stay to the side of main dining room until they receive cue for their introduction
  • Cue band, DJ or designated emcee when the majority of guests have found their tables and Bride and Groom are ready to be introduced
  • Cue band/DJ, photographer, videographer and immediate family members of the Bride and Groom when important events take place at reception (i.e. first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, and toasts)
  • Cue Father of the Bride, Best Man and Maid of Honor when they are about to be announced for toasts
  • Know the catering service’s schedule, and help ensure that guests are served at the appointed time
  • Distribute final payments/gratuities to vendors at the end of the night
  • Prevent and fix any problems that may arise during the event
  • Remain easily accessible through the entire event in case there are any details the Bride & Groom would like attended to
  • Collect gifts and personal décor items and ensure they reach the designated family member, room and/or vehicle
  • Coordinate Reception departure transportation and/or send off

Our fee for services is relatively small compared with what the true cost of a wedding is these days. Please check our services tab and if we can be of service to you, send us a note through our contact tab. We’ll respond within 24 hours.

Melissa and Steve
Melissa and Steve

 

 

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Contest Giveaway! Cuttings Flower and Garden

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Win this Holiday Tea Towel from Cuttings!
Win this Holiday Tea Towel from Cuttings!

We loved this tea towel the moment we laid eyes on it! Katherine’s Daughter Events and Cuttings Flower and Garden in Sewickley Pennsylvania have joined together for a fabulous giveaway. Win this awesome tea towel plus a $50 gift card to purchase anything else you’d like from their beautiful store!

It’s easy to enter. Sign up for our IDEAs! posts by entering your email address along our sidebar. That’s one entry. Comment below and tell us your favorite part of the holiday season. That’s two entries. Follow our Facebook link and comment there. Three entries! So easy to win!

Cross the last gifts off your list by visiting Cuttings. Beautiful ornaments and decorated trees, stylish gift and entertaining ideas, wall hangings, vintage finds you will not see anywhere else. Please go and check them out!

Cuttings Flower and Garden, 524 Locust Place, Sewickley PA. 412-741-7227

Christmas at Cuttings 3

Christmas at Cuttings 2

Cuttings at Christmas The Silver Room

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Ten Tips to Being a Spectacular Holiday Hostess!

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Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and Garden, Sewickley
Courtesy of Cuttings Flower and Garden, Sewickley

Thinking of hosting a special event over the holidays? Here are some tips to help you focus on what’s important.

  1. What type of event are you thinking of? Whether you are inviting guests to your home for a quiet evening or a big holiday party, clearly define your vision. Cozy dinner and drinks, large holiday soiree or hot chocolate party; think it out beforehand and decide exactly what you’d like to do.
  2. Decide on your budget. Easier said than done but this is an important step in the process. This will help you decide whether or not to spend hundreds of dollars on those special favors or if you’d rather put your money elsewhere. Put a bit of a buffer in there too, just for things you might miss from the get go.
  3. Decide on a theme. Themes are really fun and there are so many ideas floating around out there on the web and on Pinterest, etc.Since it’s Christmas, choose shades of red, white and green, go for pine and pomegranates and make a splash.
  4. Make a list. Do you need a bartender? Write that down. Using real plates and glasses or plastic? Do you need to rent linens? Do you need to find the perfect dress? Write it all down.
  5. Get more specific. Make a menu and if you are doing the cooking, start writing down your shopping list. If you’ve hired a caterer, list everything you will need from start to finish of your event, including the napkins, paper products, wine, candles.
  6. Recognize your limits and ask for help. If you are having a large event, consider recruiting family members or hiring a “day of “ or part time event planner. You can only do so much and you will run yourself ragged before the big day.  (Give me a call and I’d be glad to help you out!)
  7. Do as much as you can beforehand. Make a timeline for the day of the event and do as much as you can in the days leading up to and including the morning of. The more you do beforehand the easier your life will be. Imagine taking a hot bath a few hours before the event. You can do that if you plan ahead.
  8. Set things up so all you have to do is minimal maintenance. If you have to constantly heat appetizers in the oven, it will be hard for you to enjoy your party! Think of ways to prepare, serve and replenish food that does not involve constant kitchen time. Or, hire someone to be in the kitchen, taking care of food and other necessities.
  9. 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 enjoy your guests. Do the best you can to keep an eye on things, but also expect that things may occur that no one anticipates. Spills, unexpected minor disasters can all happen but be a sport and smile and solve the issue. Don’t be a drama queen if things fall apart.  Just keep going!
  10. 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!
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Follow the North Star

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Embassy Suites Hotel, Winston Salem NC. Photo by Don Mikush
In Good Company, Embassy Suites Hotel, Winston Salem NC. Photo by Don Mikush

Take a whole group of dedicated people and raise money for a good cause. That is what happened last Thursday evening when supporters of Equality Winston Salem and the North Star LGBT Community Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina gathered for “In Good Company,” an evening of fun and serious dedication.

Two hundred and fifty guests attended this first ever fundraiser for North Star. Major donors were there such as PepsiCo, Wells Fargo, Replacements Ltd, Kevin Jennings and the Arcus Foundation, HanesBrands, Wake Forest University Office of the President, MCreative, and Wake Forest Baptist Church.

Event Moderators Mary Jamis and Rex Welton, Photo by Joanne Jamis Cain
Event Moderators Mary Jamis and Rex Welton, Photo by Joanne Jamis Cain

Keynote speaker John Stotler shared his story of coming out at his long time employer Wells Fargo and gave an inspirational story of their willingness to treat their LGBTQ employees equitably. Five awards were given to companies and individuals who were also leaders in the fight for equality.

All proceeds from the event benefit North Star LGBT Community Center at 704 Brookstown Avenue in downtown Winston Salem.

Mary Jamis speaks to the crowd. Photo by Don Mikush.
Mary Jamis speaks to the guests. Photo by Don Mikush.
Bishop Gene Robinson gave the invocation. Photo by Don Mikush.
Bishop Gene Robinson gave the invocation. Photo by Don Mikush.
Karon Click and the Hot Licks ended the evening on a swinging high note! Photo by Don Mikush.
Karon Click and the Hot Licks ended the evening on a swinging high note! Photo by Don Mikush.

Katherine’s Daughter Events was proud to be there and offer assistance with set up and on site coordination. We applaud Mary Jamis, the board of North Star and all those who gathered for standing up for equality and presenting this beautiful evening.

 

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Countdown to Christmas! Part One: Shopping

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Shop Local this Holiday! Check out Soergel's in Wexford!
Shop Local this Holiday! All items available at Soergel’s in Wexford!

It’s hard to believe but Christmas is only 45 days away. Have you started your shopping yet? With just a bit of pre- planning, Christmas can be a wonderful season of joy and love. In years past, I’ve had the experience of working retail at the holiday. I’ve made observations of shoppers at each stage of the game and it’s so obvious who is the happiest at the holidays.

The customers that came in my store in early November, armed with coupons from the catalog they received in the mail, usually found exactly what they wanted. They took their time, shopping and picking out presents. If they needed to special order their gift, they had plenty of time to wait for it to come in. These were the calmest shoppers.

The closer to Christmas it got, of course the less catalog items were available. And, the more irritated and irate the customer. The December shoppers were more frazzled. The week before Christmas shoppers? Forget it. They were down right miserable and sometimes not very nice.

Soergel's Santa ListNow, the November customers may have paid a tiny bit more for their items. But they were relaxed and happier over all. Mainly because they were getting their shopping done early and were able to enjoy their holiday parties and families more. And they had their pick of the nicest goods.

Moral of the story? Get going. Start shopping local or online. Make a list. (check it twice!) Ask loved ones what they want (yes, so much easier) and give them a budget amount. If you’d rather surprise them, fine, but make sure you have receipts in their gift box. You’ll spend less time too in the long run, because you will give thought to the gifts you purchase.

If you plan on giving homemade cookies or holiday breads work on your grocery list now. Buy flour, sugar, fresh baking soda and powder (my mom taught me this), nuts, cupcake liners ahead of time. I love to go to the Fiesta Outlet early on and buy oval platters to put my famous baklava on. (I’ll share that recipe soon!) That way I can leave the platter behind, a lasting memento of my delicious gift.

Soergel's Santas

I hope this inspires you to start shopping if you haven’t already. Love to shop local? Please also check out my favorite floral shop- Cuttings Flower and Garden in Sewickley PA.

What’s your favorite shopping strategy? Please share it with us!

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