Filed under: All About Me
courtesy of weheartit.com and weddingchicks.com
I have a confession, ladies and gents. That’s right. Here amongst friends, I need to admit something I’m not 100% proud of, and because everyone knows a public blog forum is the most discreet place to make an admission, I’m sure that’s where this will remain, right? Ooookkkkaaaay, here goes. I love peonies! Okay, well, that’s not the confession, but it’s important for establishing the premise of what will be noted as such :) But see, so pretty…
courtesy of Next Exit Photography
Alas, I digress. It was in my youth that my original obsession with the peony started. As I would ride my bike around the neighborhood, I was always drawn to the overgrown, bushy plant that began to bloom every spring in Mrs. Brown’s front yard. Because of the size of the plant, it would often grow outward and onto the sidewalk. It was in the moments of early summer, that my confession comes into play.
The plant – as you may have well guessed – was that of the beautiful blooming peony. Now, because the plant would sometimes end up a little on the sidewalk, I couldn’t help but run into it every now and again. So, if my bike “accidentally” (on purpose) veered toward the bush and knocked off a peony head or two, it would’ve been wrong of me NOT to take them home and enjoy them the way pretty flowers like the peony deserve to enjoyed, right? Yes? No? Maybe? Is this thing on?
*Hangs head in shame* I knew it! To you all, and most especially to you, Mrs. Brown, I am eternally sorry for my youthful thievery, but please know it was done out of love and they were appreciated to the fullest extent! <insert giant, sweet smile>
And now that I have that off my chest and more than likely worried some of you reading this – especially if Mrs. Brown ever comes across this blog, haha! – I’d like to move onto the real meat ‘n’ potatoes of the post, which is – of course! – the peony itself!
courtesy of weddingchicks.com
According to the Bridal Guide and brides the world over, the peony is the go-to flower for bouquets looking to create the most gusto! And it’s no wonder why! Comprised with deeply lobed leaves with large, bulbous and often fragrant flower blooms, the peony is available in just about every color under the sun! It’s petals – decorated in everything from reds and yellows to shades of whites and pinks – this beautimous blossom can be incorporated into every wedding color and theme there is :)
Great as a stand alone flower, paired in a bouquet of nothing but its own blooms OR accompanied by others equally as exquisite, the pretty peony is surely one standout flower that will have heads turning and breaths catching. Check out below and see what I mean for yourself :)
courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) bouquetweddingflower.com, visionsweddingboutique.com, bellethemagazine.com, etsy.com, exploredreamdiscoverblog.com (insert), countrybouquetsfloral.com, kissthegroom.com, bellethemagazine.com, bellethemagazine.com and elizabethannedesigns.com
March 14, 2013
So, after a slight hiatus (so sorry to have been gone so long, loves!!), I’m super PUMPED to announce Marilyn’s Keepsakes is back to blogging and embracing all kinds of business boosting changes!!
That’s right, my fellow blog-a-teers and bride-to-be’ers, MK is gearing up for the New Year in a completely New Way!!!!! And if the ultra ecstatic wording and excess use of exclamation points haven’t set your SQUEEE levels to the appropriate setting, please take into consideration the dancing doll-baby below!!!!! Haha!
^^Yep. That pretty much sums up my excitement level right now!^^
Firstly, the Blog is Back!! And will return to its former glory with dual weekly postings every Tuesday and Thursdays! So, mark your calenders, pretty ladies, and start your eCommerce loving engines.. because our journey back to awesome starts today!
“Why the sudden return to the bi-weekly awesomeness known as MK’s blog?” one might ask.
Well, that’s do entirely to the even bigger awesomeness that we are now under new management, ownership and overall ahhh(to the)mazing direction… <enter stage right> Amy Furrow!!
No stranger to shooting for the stars and making big things happen, Ms. Furrow – our fearless leader and your new favorite retailer specialist! – has now set her sights on her growing passion for growing business… and the best part? It’s all for you!
So, keep your eyes peeled, ears open and excitement levels engaged for all that’s in store! And in the mean time, feel free to take a gander at our new digs, ya dig?
February 5, 2013
courtesy of phindystudios.com
After attending a friend’s wedding (wad up, Tay!), I was inspired by her incredible strength and her unique ability to personalize every part of her day with meaningful details and touches that oozed with her impeccable taste. But it wasn’t until months later when her professional wedding photos (and an additional pinterest.com image sent from our very own Lauren Trisler!) came across my desk that I was reminded of a the beautifully inspired way she chose to keep the memory of the ones she lost close to her heart during her wedding ceremony.
They go by a number of names, but they are best known as Bouquet Charms or Bouquet Lockets and are placed along the stem of bridal bouquets for keeping safe and stunning looks. The thought behind the bouquet charm is to give brides a perfect place to keep the ones who have passed on with them as they say ’I do.’ You can literally hold the ones you’ve lost near and dear during all the big moments of your ceremony, all the while creating an instant keepsake that looks spectacular and feels even more special.
Even if your one of the most fortunate brides ever and have never lost a loved one, you can still get amazing use out of this sentiment by adding your nuptial initials or favorite quotes to a charm and wrapping them around your bouquet! After all, what bride couldn’t use a little extra meaningful ‘oomph’ at her wedding?
Not to mention, these gorgeous gems make for great DIY details… giving every bride the opportunity to be as fanciful or simple as she wants! Check out below and see what I mean :)
photos courtesy of (from top to bottom, left to right) ohdearphotography.com, etsy.com, Wedding Inspirations via pinterest.com, vancitybride.com, divajewelsco.com, aileentran.com, boards.weddingbee.com, jubilantwares.com and stylecollective.com
January 24, 2012
cuortesy of deshow.net
This past weekend, my girlfriend and her beau to be attended a couple’s retreat as part of their pre-marital preparation, and because it was mandatory for them – as it will be for most of you – I asked her to take note of any highlights.
As Melissa went on and on about the different programs put on by different couples, she was sure to reiterate the blah blah of it all, showcasing that – up until the end – her high point was noted by interrupting bathroom breaks and cold cut turkey sandwiches. Wow.
But before my overwhelming jealousy could fully set in, she started talking about one session called “Building Your Identity as a Couple” led by a husband / wife duo who offered advice on how couples can bring the best parts of their lives and merge them into their new “identity” as one, singular unit… In layman’s terms, how to take a good ‘I’ and a nice ‘You’ and merge them into an even more astounding ‘We.’
They used examples of how couples can use what they’ve learned from past experiences with family and friends, as well their background knowledge and views on politics, religion, morality, (fill in any other non-PC-hard-to-talk-about-subject here) and build a life that will reflect them both equally and notably. While the overall sentiment can come off a little cheesy, the underlying notion of taking the best of yourselves as individuals and merging them into an even stronger family unit is pretty inspiring.
And at the end of the session, there was left time for questions; so, Melissa explained that after a brief pause of awkward silence, a young lady sitting caddy corner from her raised her hand and said,
“In your program you talk a lot about how a person’s individual identity is often times a direct reflection of the people they surround themselves with. This worries me a little, because the men in my fiancé’s family don’t have the best view towards women.”
Mel said the girl then proceeded her statement with graphic examples of how her fiancé’s brothers and male relatives were more than likely to treat women as objects, rather than partners, and on numerous occasions have even spoken ill about and targeted her directly. Um, yikes?
But before my darling girlfriend, Melly, could shout out any of her, “Oh no he didn’t!” comments, the couple leading the session – without hesitation – gave one of the most eloquent explanations ever :)
They began by prefacing how family dynamics can be tricky and should be dealt with the utmost of care. While it’s never okay to force / make / threaten your significant other to “ditch” his or her family, it is now and forever shall be okay to express how you feel. The couple then offered this jewel of advice, which I hope you all can walk away with:
“Don’t worry about the family being a bad influence on you… strive instead… to be a good influence on them.” Genius.
So many times, it seems as though it’s easier to become engulfed with all the negative. So easily, we can lose sight of what’s positive, which is why I love love love the message this couple is sending. At the end of the day, every bride and groom-to-be can choose to write their own happy ending, and if we all lead through an example of positivity and love, and “poo poo” all the Negative Nellies, it will be a lot easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel… literally.
With that said, please feel free to leave your ray of sunshine below (ie. something about your love that makes you smile, a way you’ve been inspiring OR inspired, etc.)… we’ll leave the snarly stuff to the 5 o’clock news :D
January 17, 2012
Denise & Ryan, oh so in loaf! (courtesy of Denise Keown)
This past weekend, the Mister and I attended his step sister’s wedding in Indy. A beautiful black and white ceremony accented with richly red rose petals, the evening was filled with all the usual wedding charm. And while weddings have practically become a weekend standard for the Dietzes, it never ceases to amaze me how each one always brings in elements unique to the couple behind the celebration itself. Denise ( the hub’s step sister) and Ryan’s big day was no exception!
My absolute favorite part came after dinner when the DJ announced that everyone needed to return to their seats for at least the next two and half minutes… Two and a half minutes?? This immediately peaked my curiosity, as we all scurried back to our tables and anxiously awaited what would be revealed next.
Then, the deliberate emcee continued by saying that the bride and groom truly appreciated everyone for being there and wanted to make sure to remember each guest who was a part of their big day. He then explained that in order to do this, the bride and groom had decided to get a picture with each and every one of us!
So, while Aram Khachaturian’s The Sabre Dance (trust me, you know the tune) played over the stereo system, Denise and Ryan - followed super closely by their photographer - ran frantically from table to table posing with each group of people.
Some of the shots were funny. Some of them were serious. Some – especially by the tables who had obviously been previously forewarned – were well planned out, while others were thrown together haphazardly and hilariously… But no matter what the outcome of the actual shot was… all of them were definitely 100% authentic and 100% amazing.
And what a great way to make instant memories and set the tone for the rest evening!! Love love love it and can’t wait to see all the photos!
Congrats to Denise and Ryan and cheers to many, MANY years of happiness!
November 15, 2011
The gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Recently I had the distinct pleasure of not only attending but also rockin’ it out as a bridesmaid at my cousin Kimberly Lynn’s wedding. Marrying the man of her dreams, the former Ms. Kidwell wed Brian Mitchell during a b.e.a.uuuutiful fall fiesta ceremony in the heartland of the Midwest. Surrounded by their closest 450 - give or take – family and friends, the duo said “I do” at Kim’s childhood parish, St. Barnabus Catholic Church on October 15, 2011.
It was a celebration for the ages, sprinkled with all things fabulous, and to say it was a joy to be a part of it all would merely be the tip of the excitement iceberg! As many weddings as I’ve attended (Kim and Brian’s marking the 50th the Mister and I have attended together alone!), it never ceases to amaze me at how original each one is… how the individuality of the bride, her groom and their families seem to take the same occasion and mark it with something genuinely unique, something uniquely them… I’m telling you, it’s something nothing short of amazeballs.
And because it’s always such an honor to be included in a celebration, I like to glorify the creativity of each by sharing it with the masses (you’re welcome, haha!) and posting it for all to see! Below are some of my favorite parts… feel free to be inspired:
Post Rehearsal / Pre-Wedding Slumber Party. Kim had all the girls over for a final Girl’s Night In after the rehearsal, and in a word, it was fantastic. Giving one of the best attendant gifts ever, we celebrated the evening by watching one part of the gift, Bridesmaids and secretly “ooh’ing and aww’ing” the other… unique bridesmaids’ jewelry – picked out by the bride herself – for us to where on the occasion. Love love love!
How much do you la-Louvre those colors together? (courtesy of Google Images)
Killer Color Combo. As sampled above with the bracelets, the colors were purple, orange and green. The mother of the bride, my fabulous Aunt Gail, is a DIVA when it comes to decor; so, there was no doubt that the wedding would be nothing short of F.I.E.R.C.E. when it came to its overall layout… and I have to admit, just looking at the floral arrangements alone, you can see just how fierce it was… Tyra Banks, eat your heart out!
And yes, that would be my bouquet barely peaking in on the right and me totally cut out. Yep, haha! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
The Bride wore Purple Pumps. Keeping in theme with the wedding day and the trendy modern bride, Kimmi sported her best plum pumps for the occasion, and showed off her boogie shoes in style!
I wanna put on, my my my my my Boogie Shoes, and boogie with you! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Crowd Pleasing Priest, personalized by friendship. Being graduates of the local Catholic high school (Roncalli, what?), Kim and I had the pleasure of seeing one of our former classmates (and prom kings!), Dustin Boehm, reach the high honor of joining the priesthood. Kimmi decided no other priest would do, and Dustin, errr, cough cough, Father Boehm was the one chosen to oversee the whole newlywed nuptials! He did such a Tony the Tiger GRRREEEAAAT job!
Father Boehm in person and in action! (courtesy of yours truly and photosbyjennifer.com)
Father of the Bride Speech, marked with Love. So, being a complete sentimental nut, one of my favorite parts of a wedding day is always the time honored father of the bride speech, and my Uncle Rich did not disappoint! One of the best parts was when he totaled to the years of marriage Kim and Brian had backing them between the families, and because the Kidwell side is such a force to be reckoned with… he had all of us stand up and officially welcome Brian to the fam… all 900 and couting. Haha!
Kim giving her Papa a hug after his speech, so sweet! (courtesy of yours truly!)
Ceremony Shoes + Reception Runners. Kim’s nephews, Jackson and Austin, rocked it out as ring bearers and were both equipped with wedding shoes for the ceremony and running shoes for the reception. Genius. I also like how they took it upon themselves to ditch their jackets, ties and tuxedo shirts as well. Ahhh, boys :)
Work it out, Jackson! (courtesy of yours truly)
Glorious Groom’s Cake. Vastly becoming one of my favorite parts of the reception, their Groom’s Cake was one of the best I’ve ever seen! Courtesy of Cheryl Blessing of thecakestandindy.com, K+B’s groom’s cake was representative of their hometown pride and their fanatical love for the NFL. Kim, being a born and raised Indy girl, loves the Colts, and go figure, she falls in love with a Illinois native / Chicago Bear extremist. Yep. I can hope their kids are smart enough to make the right choice ;)
Touchdown perfection! (courtesy of photosbyjennifer.com)
Epically assembled with dance circles, laughter and all kinds of greatness, I could go on and on (and ON!) about Kim and Brian’s wedding, but sadly, like all good things, this post has to have an ending. So, here’s to Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell…
As you sit side by side on the roller coaster of life, remember to scream at the peaks, hold hands through the dips, laugh through the loops and enjoy every twist and turn! We love love love you and cheers to many years of happiness!
October 27, 2011
courtesy of parati.taconeras.net
I am 27 years old, and if you think I can’t remember the jittery feeling of anticipation I’d get every time I prepared for a weekend slumber party… you’d be seriously mistaken. (I wanted to say “dead wrong” but never really enjoyed the harsh connotation of it, haha!) There was just something about packing PJ’s inside my Care Bear backpack (hollllla to Care-a-lot!) that would send me reeling into excitement OVERLOAD! It still brings a smile on my face even to this day :)
But somewhere along the line of growing up - I’m assuming somewhere between getting my license, going away to college and landing in the constant state of slumber party madness with female roomies – slumber parties seemingly lost their TALLY-HO appeal, and thus, fell off the fun scale altogether.
However, and this is a big however, when my cousin (wad it do, Kimmi!!) sent an email stating that after her rehearsal dinner any and all bridesmaids were invited to her parent’s house (yay, Uncle Rich and Aunt Gail!) for a post-rehearsal, pre-wedding slumber party… the famed frenzy started again!
You see, Kim lives in Chicago, but because most family and friends are still in good ‘ole Indiana, they are doing the “I do” thang here. With no place of her own, she turned to the magic of her childhood home for refuge and extended the welcoming hand to the rest of us as well. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of being in a favorite spot from my youth or the fact that I know it will be an amazeballs time, but I can’t help but feel the same twinge of childhood excitement come over me in preparation for it.
While I highly doubt there will be any pillow fighting in our underoos (sorry to crush your hopes and dreams, fellas), we will more than likely get to spend an evening painting toenails, giving facials, eating junk (how much will be determined by the tightness of our dress alterations, haha!), laughing and simply enjoying each other’s company. I’m sure glory stories of the past will be relived and we’ll all stay up waaay to late, but it will be well worth it to send off our beautiful Kimmi in style!
And as an added bonus, we’ll already be together in the morning for the hair and makeup ladies’ arrival! Dead sere, this pretty little lady is PUMPED!
But the best part is… this could work for anyone! If you’re a bride interested in having all your girls gathered for an evening of pampering, junk food eating, laughing and childhood inspired ridiculousness… why not have a pre-wedding slumber party too?!? This not only gives you one last opportunity to giggle with your girls, but it also ensures that everyone will be ready under one roof when your big day arrives!
It’s fun. It’s simple, and best of all, the details can be left up to you! Make it a high end event with on-hand manicurists and a relaxing masseuse or low brow fun with rolled out sleepers and classic romantic comedies on the big screen… it really can be whatever you want, and what a great way to say goodbye to your old life before starting your new one! Here’s to you and happy slumbering!
September 20, 2011
courtesy of treschicbride.blogspot.com
When throwing a shower for one of my girlfriends awhile back, I came across a little recipe for “cake pops” and have been OBSESSED ever since!
Being the regular Betty Crocker (for those of you that know me, please hold in your laughter) that I am, I decided this would be an excellent choice for a festive dessert! And if I’ve gotta be completely honest… it TOTALLY was! (Subsequently pats self on back) I made three kinds: Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry.
Now, while these three flavors may seem like nothing all too impressive, it’s what you can do with them that makes them so incredible! After baking the three cake mixes in the oven (according to the box instructions), I simpled let the pans cool for about 15 minutes before crumbling each flavor into a mixing bowl and stiring in the same flavor frosting. (White w/ Vanilla, Chocolate w/ Chocolate and Strawberry w/ Strawberry.) After which, I balled the sugary goodness into small circles and covered them with candy melt toppings.
It took a little practice, but once I got the hang of it, it was super easy… and even more delicious! I topped the White Cake Balls with vanilla icing and yellow sprinkles; the Chocolate Cake Balls with chocolate candy melts and coconut, and the Strawberry Cake Balls with a melted white chocolate candy bar and pink candy heart sprinkles (my faves!). I placed some on sticks, creating a gourmet sucker look and the rest I left on decorative trays for easy, sweet munching!
There are several options on how you can create your cake pops / balls, but I have yet to find one I didn’t enjoy! Take a look below for some delicious inspiration and easy to make recipes (found below images) and start poppin’ your way to party goodness!
Choloate and Turquoise Dream!
courtesy of karascakery.com courtesy of Google Images courtesy of bzevents.com
Pretty in Pink!
courtesy of bakersroyale.com
courtesy of bzevents.com
Wrapped with Love!
courtesy of etsy.com
courtesy of cakebybridges.com
courtesy of thehappychickadee.blogspot.com
Designed by Darlings!
courtesy of camillestyles.wordpress.com
Lined with Perfection!
courtesy of thesepeasarehollow.blogspot.com
Sweetly say “I do!”
courtesy of etsy.com
Example Recipe Guide for Reference:
- 1 Box of Cake Mix (Choose your favorite the flavor)
- 1 16 ounce Container of Pre-Made Frosting (Again, choose the flavor!)
- 1 3 ounce Bar of Flavored Confectionery or Candy Melts (Choose your taste yet again! Mixing and Matching is half the fun!)
1. Prepare the cake mix according to package details, using any of the recommended pans for backing. Once cake is baked fully, simply crumble the cake while still warm (but after 15 minutes of cooling) into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
2. Melt your flavored confectionery or candy melt coating in a glass bowl in the microwave or a metal pot over a pan of simmering water on the stove-top, stirring occasionally until at a smooth consistency.
3. Use a melon baller or scoop (or even just your hands!) to form small balls (use Dunkin’ Donut holes as reference) of your cake mixture. Then, either dip the balls into the melted pan of goodness using a toothpick or simply drizzle it on top using a spoon to coat each one accordingly. Place on waxed paper to set.
4. Decorate accordinly. Place on sucker sticks if desired. Refrigerate once fully cooled.
5. & ENJOY!!
August 2, 2011
courtesy of angrytrainerfitness.com
With just under a dozen weddings rounding out the remainder of my 2011 calendar (you heard me), I’m constantly surrounded by all kinds of bridal chit chat. And while the majority is light hearted conversations of flowers and colors and cakes and candy, there is another level – a not so pleasant level – that lurks in the background like a slow, rolling thunder…
My mother-in-law is crazy! Our florist is the devil! My mom’s driving me crazy! Our caterer’s are out to get me! You’re crazy! I want to throw things at our DJ! I’m crazy! (insert your maniacal nonsense here.)
You all know what I’m talking about. But the biggest and most frequent “AHH!” to horns waggle its way into conversation… I’M NEVER GOING TO FIT INTO MY DRESS!!!
That’s right ladies… the inevitable fear of being too fat for the dress is an age old tradition of bridal banter that more than likely dates back to Medieval times. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been endowed with many, wonderful things in your life. But of all the wonderful things you have, you seem to be missing any sort of metabolic capabilities or even the slightest sliver of super model DNA. And somehow, when these two things are missing, they can make everything else seem a little bit more lackluster.
Which is why each and every, single, gosh darn forsaken day, I feel like I have to work at my weight. (Of course, I’m using the word “work” here interchangeably with “worry” (hehe), and yet, I digress.) I feel like I’ve been dieting in some way, shape or form since I was 16, which basically means I’ve spent the last 11 years hungry. Awesome.
And not only am I hungry, but I always seem to want super horrible foods at the most inconvenient times - for instance, during The Biggest Loser Finale, while perusing the latest issue of Victoria’s Secret or right before a bathing suit clad vacation. Yet another dose of awesome.
So, I’ve gathered over a decade’s worth of trial and error data to come up with a few tricks that have truly helped me along the way.
- Stressing over it will only make it worse. (Probably why so many women cling to Yoga.)
- Everyone is different; so, don’t expect the same routines that worked for a friend to work for you. Just kick booty at whatever you do!
- No matter what a girl’s body type may be, she is liable to have just as many insecurities as you. (Kind of nice to know we’re all in the same boat, isn’t it?) And finally…
- Of all the fad diets, crash cut backs and insane techniques you can use to lose weight, nothing will EVER work better than good ‘ole fashioned healthy eating and daily exercise.
So, if you’re a bride currently looking to trim down, shape up or simply get healthy for your big day, here are a few sites I’ve found incredibly helpful: WebMD.com and LoseWeightLossDiet.com - pretty clever name, yes? We’re all in this together, girls! Brides-to-be, brides-already-been and brides-several-years-in: we’re all just as “ugh!” about weight loss as the next; so, get out, get going and rest assure that there’s at least one more person looking to take out her bathroom scale! Together, we can do this :)
July 28, 2011
photos courtesy of tinywater.com
It’s hard to believe, but this coming Monday will mark our 235th year as an independent nation. Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s a cause for celebration in my book!
<Insert celebratory independence dance here>
I know you couldn’t see it, but believe me when I say, the moves I just did were amazeballs :) And why were my moves so money, you may ask?? Well, because I love freedom – duh! And even more so than freedom, I love… LOVE! So, when you put the two together, I can’t think of any greater reason to pull up my celebration britches and have a BLASTIN’ good time! Woot , woot!
Check out the punch of patriotic love below and see what I mean…
photos courtesy of ampersandphoto.net
photos courtesy of kateheadleyphotography.com
courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com
courtesy of allsorts.typepad.com
photos courtesy of eatdrinkmarry.blogspot.com
courtesy of etsy.com
photos courtesy of tinywater.com
courtesy of weddingbeepro.com
photos courtesy of jacksonphotography.com
photos courtesy of north-west-wedding.co.uk
photos courtesy of eatdrinkmarry.blogspot.com
courtesy of asespromzai.blogspot.com
photos courtesy of gideonphoto.com
courtesy of tinywater.com
photos courtesy of thedailyveil.blogspot.com
Have a safe and HAPPY Fourth, everyone :) :) :) And don’t forget, now thru July 4th, you can SAVE 30% on our Heart Shaped Wedding Sparklers!!
June 30, 2011