Wednesday, April 21

A Mary Kay Mother's Day

As Mother's Day quickly approaches many of us scramble to find the perfect gift for mom. What do you buy for someone who has done so much for you to show your love & appreciation? Since many people are not familiar with Mary Kay's product line I thought it would be helpful to review some of the best Mother's Day gift suggestions for a little helper-outter. I've sorted them by price point, but any and all of these are great products - alone or in groupings!

Ultimate Mascara $15 & Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover $14: Both Mary Kay best-sellers, this set is perfect for any mom! The Ultimate Mascara is an exclusive formula for longer-looking lashes that lasts all day with up to five times the volume! The Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover gently removes eye makeup, including waterproof mascara.


Satin Lips Set $18: Buff away dry skin then refresh with moisturizer that leaves lips soft and smooth. Satin Lips help lipstick last longer & is perfect for regular use!


Fun-In-The Sun Set $25: a special set through my personal business, this summer-lovin' set is a must for any mom's beach bag. Enjoy Mary Kay’s SPF 30 Sunscreen (a lightweight, oil-free sunscreen for face & body that provides UVA/UVB protection) & Mary Kay’s After-Sun Replenishing Gel (formulated with botanical extracts rich in soothing antioxidants).


Fragrance-Free Satin Hands Set $34: One of my FAVES - this set comes with a hand softener, hand scrub & 24 hour hand cream that leaves hands feeling silky smooth. The softener can also be used on cracked heals or dry elbows!!


Mary Kay Makeup Brush Set $48: Professional-quality brushes are a staple in every mom's beauty routine. Including a powder brush, cheek brush, eye defined brush, eye crease brush & eyeliner/eyebrow brush, this great set comes in the Mary Kay cosmetic organizer bag!


This Mother's Day pamper the moms in your life! Visit www.marykay.com/steph.wallace to purchase these & other Mary Kay products! In honor of Mother's Day, those who purchase by April 29 will receive 10% off their order!  Email me with the code: MOM10 after placing your order. :)

What are you giving your mom(s) for Mother's Day?

Happy Shopping! Good times & God bless,
Steph

Monday, April 19

Engagement Photo Shoot

In accordance with the "typical" wedding plans, Brandon & I recently had our engagement pictures done. After the initial awkwardness of starring into each others eyes for what seemed like hours and holding kisses for days on end, the shoot started getting pretty fun! After all, our photo shoot was anything but "typical".

In order to stay with our "traditional but not so much" idea of wedding, we decided to have our engagement pictures at the place that was so unique no one had ever done it before (& may never follow for that matter). Our photos were shot at the Indian Village - Brandon's grandparent's land that sits just past downtown Stone Mountain.

The Indian Village was the perfect spot to capture the rustic, simple feel we wanted - along with some pretty cool shots of us in teepees & around the bones in the "burial ground". After shooting in the village, we hiked down the train tracks to some old coal cars where we took some hobo shots.

Our photographer, Dax from Platinum Bride Photography was AMAZING! His artistic skill & talented eye placed us in the best spot to make each picture perfect. His creative ideas had us peaking around bones, ducking out of teepees, chilling at the ok corral & helped us relax while enjoying the shoot. My kudos go out to him for putting up with our crazyness (& for dealing with my inability to keep from laughing the entire time). I cannot wait to see what amazing work he comes up with at our wedding! Thank you Dax!!

Take a look at the entire album here.

Good times & God bless,
Steph

Saturday, April 17

Strawberry "Coke" Cake

Excited to share this delish recipe with y'all today!

Tonight we are off to some friends house for an evening of fun.  I'm in charge of dessert.  In celebration of spring and to pull out an old favorite I decided to make my Strawberry "Coke"Cake.

Before I get rolling on the actual to-do, I want to clarify on the name.  No, there is no actual Coca-Cola in the cake, BUT there is a carbonated beverage - all of which are known in the south / Atlanta area as COKE! 

A simple bake, the Strawberry "Coke" Cake is great for all kinds of occasions: cookouts, family gatherings, showers & (my fave) just cause!


Ingredients:
   1 box (16oz.) Angel Food Cake Mix
   1 1/4 cup Strawberry Coke (aka. Soda, Soda-Pop, Pop - whatever you call it)
   1/4 cup Honey
   1/4 cup Butter, Melted
   2 cups Sifted Confectioners' (Powdered) Sugar
   4 tbsp. Strawberry Coke
   4 drops Red Food Coloring

To Do:
   1.  Prepare cake mix according to the box, but in place of the water, substitute the first measure of strawberry Coke & honey.  Bake as directed & cool.*
   2.  While cake is baking, prepare glaze by combining melted butter, confectioners' sugar, remaining Coke measure & food coloring. 
   3.  Drizzle glaze onto cake once cake is cooled.  Serve & enjoy!

This recipe serves around 10 or so & takes about an hour to make.  Simple as can be!

*Bakers Note: I love to use my bundt pan, but the mixture makes a little extra.  Instead of using a different pan I fill my bundt pan 3/4 of the way full & use the remaining batter to make cute little cupcakes!  Aren't they great on my Alabama plate? (RTR!)

Good times & God bless,
Steph

Friday, April 16

Bride Report: Sugar Kneads

Just off of Atlanta Highway in Loganville, GA sits a precious bakery called Sugar Kneads. Located in a strip/shopping mall, the bakery is a little overwhelmed, but the signature pink cake truck & signage stands vibrantly against the mundane brick. Our appointment was at 9:00 on a Saturday morning... What a GREAT was to start the day! Cake for breakfast? Yes please!! With Brandon working for the weekend, my buddy (& only UGA bridesmaid) Adrian joined me for the adventure.

Let me interject here with a little background info. On Super Bowl Sunday I attended a bridal show at the Gwinnett Arena. Surrounded by hundreds of other brides & countless vendors, my moms (mom, stepmom & mother in law) & I wove through the booths in search of fabulous. Our first cake booth was Rhodes Bakery - not so much. At the time, their economy friendly pricing was music to my ears but after tasting the cake - yuck! It was dense, dry & I was not impressed. The next delight we sampled came from Publix. Although their cake was MUCH better, their decorating charge made me shy away & we continued our search. Finally, after looking at God knows how many floral booths & registry helpers we stumbled on a crowded booth. The sign read "Sugar Kneads" & a cute lady with PINK (amazingness here) hair invited me in to grab some samples. With moms in tow, we each tried the sugary deliciousness - winner!

Ok, back to now: prior to our appointment I was able to select a handful of cake flavors, fillings & icings to sample. Upon entering the sugary scented bakery we were greeted by Brad, co-owner & baker. He sat us down at a table up front & scooted off to the back to grab our fixings. When he returned he carried three plates - 2 with cupcake sized pieces of the cakes I had selected to try & another with fillings & icing samples. Heaven happened right there in Loganville that morning.

After several tastes & matching flavors we decided on the following:
  + The Brides Cake =
     Flavors - a four layer cake; the top three layers are red velvet (best I've ever had); bottom layer is vanilla cake filled with Bavarian cream & chocolate ganauche (spelling?) which makes it taste like an ├ęclair.
     The Look - a fall inspired cake, simple & elegant; featuring fondant leaves, a chocolate colored ribbon & organic style icing.  See the photos for our inspiration.  (Please excuse the horrible photo... apparently my scanner is from the early 90's.)  We also are going to have an "H" as our topper, surrounded by additional fondant leaves.



   + The Grooms Cake =
     Flavors - a chocolate cake filled with chocolate butter cream icing and covered in butter cream
     The Look - specially designed by yours truly, it's a surprise for my hubby-to-be! Only the dedicated bridesmaid knows my little secret! :)

Above all else, we stayed in our budget - got the wedding cake for $2.74 / slice (which is pretty darn cheap around here), were able to have the exact cakes we wanted & walke out with a sugar high. It was a wonderful experience & I appreciate the talent & time spent with us!

To wrap up a super long post simply, go there - use them! :)

Good times & God bless,
Steph

Thursday, April 15

I'm No Fashionista

I've noticed in the past few weeks (& longer for some), several of the blogs I read have turned to the fashion of the writer. Although I thoroughly enjoy reading about their duds & seeing pictures of their precious combos, it makes me realize one thing - I'm no fashionista.

One of my faves is chai am woman. A highschool friend of mine (woah, it's been a while since CGHS), she is able to make the cutest combos of outfits EVER! I love, love, LOVE her simple looks that make me feel like I can follow in her footsteps! Oh, and her jewlery... Don't get me started. She makes (yes MAKES) some of the prettiest necklaces I've ever seen. Anywho - CHECK HER OUT!!

Another blogger that shares her fashion thoughts that I very much enjoy following is Design A-Peele. A more recent jump into fashion, her week in review made me want to go buy a new wardrobe! She also has some fantastic accessories from Stella & Dot. I purchased my bridal earrings from her - love them!! Precious stuff & thanks for sharing!

With inspiration like chai am woman & Design A-Peele, it's tough to be a non fashionista... I just look through my closet of not-so-cute tops & plain ol' pants & long for a shopping spree. Oh well, looks like I'll just have to start taking a little direction from the bloggers & get my self into fashion gear! Now the hard part... Where do I start?

Good times & God bless,
Steph

Wednesday, April 14

I'm back!

I know you missed me. Ha! 2010 has swiftly come in, caught me off guard & knocked me around a little bit. It's been a whirlwind of fun, but I've missed my blogging and felt it was time I made a comeback!

Since my last post I've moved forward with several wedding plans and have high expectations about blogging on some of my vendors - good things, I promise! In addition, we are ALMOST done with our registries which is SUPER exciting! The best part is, our registry has so much stuff that I will order what all is on there by the time our wedding and parties/showers roll around. I do love a great surprise!

Another venture that I will be blogging more on is one that I'm SUPER STOKED about! I'm now an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay! :) More information to follow on that one! Until then, check out my site: www.marykay.com/steph.wallace

No more long breaks in the blog. I'm back, I swear!

Good times & God Bless,
Steph