Sunday, 26 January 2014

My 5 Favourite Wedding 'Cakes' for 2014

I am a big believer in using something unexpected to put a spin on the traditional. Now I'm not suggesting you spurn the sweet traditional tiers of yumminess and the cutting of the cake, I'm merely offering you alternatives and practical solutions for the modern bride. We all need to save money, to impress our guests and to leave a lasting memory of our special day so here comes 5 delicious yet chic ways to do all of the above....

The Cheese Cake.
The classic alternative wedding 'cake'. Tiers made from rounds of cheese, decorated with grapes. Can still be cut as a traditional cake but provides after dinner cheese and lasts waaaaayyyy into the evening buffet. I would add medjool dates and ivy trailing down the layers. 

The Pie Cake.
An evening buffet & 'cake' with plenty of wit thrown in for good measure. Who needs to spend on two lots of catering?

The Doughnut Pile.
 Already portioned up. Chic. Yummy. Cheap. Done.
Eton Mess Cake.
This has to be my favourite idea. A society wedding I worked at years ago had a whole table covered in tin foil, then our chefs covered it layer by messy layer with meringue, cream and berries, we then decorated it with edible flowers, berries and icing sugar. It was the messiest most beautiful, impressive 'Cake' come dessert I've ever seen. 
Marshmallow Tower.
Something so blummin' original no-one (including myself) has put it together yet! The homemade marshmallow trend is so now and so delicious. Pile up an enormous tower and decorate with your flower or fruit of choice. Pennie at the amazing Pear of Peas does the tastiest marshmallows (you can send the freebies when ever you have a spare second Pen)!
Hope you gain some inspiration from my ideas.
Enjoy your sugar high : )

Friday, 17 January 2014

Marriage or Wedding? Both please!

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has commented that the pressure to have the 'perfect' wedding has become one of the biggest threats to marriage itself. With the focus being on the wedding rather than the marriage, profiteers take over and turn what in his opinion should be a 'simple public declaration of commitment' into a 'showy and expensive day'.  He comments that the enormous shows of wealth and extravagance (which many can barely afford) last a day but leave little time to focus on the day to day normalitities that couples then have to struggle through.

You may be surprised to hear that I am with him (despite possibly being one of the 'profiteers' he mentions). I especially agree with his presumption "This is an aspect I think of the short term, unimaginative, emotionally unintelligent climate that sometimes we seem forced to inhabit". Despite charging money to help make people's weddings and parties beautiful events my main focus is to make it a memorable event. Not for the reasons you may assume. A wedding may be memorable because of the enormous amount of money spent on it or it may be memorable because the bride wore an enormous dress, but neither of those reasons create positive and happy memories for the bride, groom, their families and friends.

Positive memories are created when an aspect of the wedding ceremony or reception speaks to the guests and warms their heart. Memories of the couple putting together a time capsule at the altar to be opened in 10, 20, 30 years time. Memories of the day two people you care about promised so much to each other when you look at the flowers growing from the seeds that were your wedding favour. Memories of the photos of  relatives who could not be with the couple on their day, blowing in the wind in a 'family tree'. These are positive memories that I am interested in and that can be created for very little money but with plenty of imagination and emotional intelligence that help focus couples in the long term. These are the things that I believe create the 'perfect wedding'.

I am interested in creating memorable events for the couple. When happy memories last amongst people who love a couple, they grow and add to the love and commitment of the couple. 

For more ideas about how to create the emotionally intelligent wedding see my Pintrest Board: 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2014's Brides and Party Princesses to go Paleo for New Year Detox.

The annual detox that is January is more important for those who will be on a podium at some point in the year ahead. Brides to be and those who are hosting big parties want to look and feel their best. The health trends of 2014 interestingly include many ideas that I have incorporated into my own lifestyle since having a child 18 months ago, and I can safely say they work!

A constant appetite for all things naughty will be the main battle for most January detoxers as they will have consumed more sugar over Christmas than normal, usually in the form of chocolate and alcohol. Sugar is our number one beauty enemy causing cravings as well as blotchy skin, acne, dry skin, enlarged pores, eczema and bloodshot eyes . Candida grows in the sugar addict's tummy and every health problem under the sun can be aggravated, not to mention the suggested link that sugar feeds Cancer.

So, how to heal our gut and thereafter our skin, eyes, hair, nails and energy levels? Cutting out all sugar and alcohol is the first step, then I would suggest gluten, yeast, cow's dairy and all things labelled 'diet'. What to add in? Greens, greens and more greens, chilli, garlic (fight those January colds), lots of fruits and vegetables and meat. Yes folks, I said meat and detox in the same article. Humans have evolved, eating as hunters and gathers so therefore our gut has evolved to consume meat, vegetables and fruit most effectively. The 'Paleo' (as in Paleolithic) diet is not a faddy diet it's a way of life for many Americans and I've noticed it is heading this way. Add that together with the brilliant vitamin boost of a green juice and I think we are on to a winner.

Sounds extreme? Not at all! Here are some eating suggestions that makes your New Year Glow easy to achieve.

Breakfast ideas:
Green Juice (lemon, apple, kale, celery)
Rye bread (yeast free such as Biona. Not strictly Paleo but I find it really good) toast with  hummus or goats butter
Eggs on rye bread 

Salad (watercress, rocket, grated carrot, beetroot, cucumber, tomato) with either goats cheese or chicken or Salmon
Soup Butternut squash & celeriac is particularly easy just chop up and boil in good quality chicken stock till soft then liquidise but any vegetable works or good old Chicken Soup.

Roast dinner! A joint of meat with roast veggies. (Don't forget to make a stock from the bones) then you have the next few day's soups).
Pudding: in a blender 2 ripe bananas and a tin of coconut milk - freeze and you have the tastiest no sugar no dairy ice cream known to womankind. Seriously no one will know this is health food.

You can eat as much of the above as you like. You can add as much fat to your food as you like as long as it is a whole fat and not processed (coconut, olive oil, goats butter, rapeseed oil, lard, nut butters - all good for you! Will decrease your appetite and make your skin glow). And you will look and feel incredible... when those sugar and caffine shivers have worn off!

For more information see:

Festoon will see you down the aisle in style.

(Please note I am not a nutritionist, I'm just talking from my own research.)