Wedding Dress Shopping: Ugh.

I'm having a little bit of a problem when it comes to wedding dresses.


I blame it on my love for all-things-girly.

Some shoppers know the exact style or designer or cut that they want and they go on the hunt, looking specifically for that one dress. I, on the other hand, love lots of styles. And every dress I try on makes me forget about the last dress I fell in love with.

Here are a few dress styles that are catching my eye...

30's Sophistication

50's Flair

70's Prairie Dress

A "Grand Entrance" dress

As you can see, I have great taste my style is all over the place. Also, most if not all, of these options are only available online. Meaning, I won't be able to try the dress on in person and I won't be able to see how it looks on me until I've already purchased it. Have you, or do you know anyone who's purchased a wedding dress online? What were your/ her experiences?

Thoughts and opinions on the dresses above?? I want honest opinions here. (Male readers: I want your opinions too.) If we can't be honest, then I don't even know why we're friends.

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Recipe: Banana Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Frosting.

Have you been to MingMakesCupcakes? It's like a visual heaven for the sweet tooth in your eyeballs.

Does that even make sense? I don't care, just click on that link above and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Banana Cupcakes with Maple Brown Butter Frosting

1 cup mashed bananas
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 jumbo egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 stick butter
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp maple syrup

Heat oven to 275 F (135 C)
1. In a small bowl, combine bananas and lemon juice.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. While mixing, add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating. Mix in bananas until well blended.

4. Bake for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

After removing from oven, place cupcakes in freezer for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt butter at medium heat until golden brown. In a bowl, add butter to sugar, then add milk and maple syrup. Beat until smooth.

Top cupcakes with banana and cinnamon.

I used "Medium Amber" syrup and I'm guessing that's why my frosting didn't get that buttery brown color. It was the only true maple syrup I had on hand, and it was was in a really cute bottle, which is partly why I wanted to try this recipe.

Also, if you're making these ahead of time, do NOT top them with banana slices until you're ready to serve. Otherwise, your guests will be greeted with a bunch of soggy-looking brown things. Trust me, bananas get gross quick.

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Featured Wedding Venue: Camp San Luis Obispo

It's official: The wedding planning has begun!

 Over the next few weeks, I'll be showcasing a different venue that I've visited in the hunt for our perfect wedding location. Most of these places are not popular venues that you'd find in your typical wedding research. Some may be a little non-traditional. And all of them are perfect for the budget-conscious.

 One thing I noticed while looking at venues online is that most websites don't show the details of the space. I.e. the light fixtures, windows, flooring, etc. And they always show the space when it's fully decked out in someone else's wedding decor. Hopefully, the shots I've taken will give you a better idea of the what each venue looks like as a "blank slate."

Like a venue? Give me your input! (If you already know which venue we've chosen, don't spill the beans, please!)

Located three hours north of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo is considered part of California's "wine country." Since I don't know too much about the factual history of this exact venue, I'll just give you the quick info I was able to learn in my research. It's a military base that's pretty much out of commission and only used nowadays for training purposes. Most of the buildings on base are dilapidated and it felt like a ghost town. With that said, it's a GREAT location if you want to be surrounded by nature.

Camp San Luis Obispo (CLSO) is located right off Highway 1 and it's very easy to get to. You don't need to have military clearance to get to this venue. However, you do need to have an appointment with the coordinator, so make sure you arrange this ahead of time. This venue offers both a ceremony location (chapel) and a reception location (Officer's Club).

Chapel - front

Chapel - side

Inside chapel - view from the balcony

Main aisle of the chapel

Chapel seating

View from the alter, looking towards the back of the chapel

Balcony seating

Light fixtures in the chapel

Exterior of chapel

Gazebo in front of chapel

Sign in front of chapel

Officer's Club - exterior

Officer's Club - exterior

The Lounge: This space is great for older guests to sit and relax, as well as for children to watch TV.

The Fireplace Room: This space is great for cocktail hour. The French doors on the far side lead to the bridal dressing room.

Wood beams in the Fireplace Room.

The Library is ideal as a bridal dressing room. There's plenty of space for several girls to get ready. There are also tables, comfortable chairs, and lots of natural lighting. 

The Ballroom

Stage area. This could be used for the DJ setup, cake display, or even the wedding party.

Linoleum flooring - no need to rent a dance floor.

Cool architecture

Door leading from the library, goes out to a spacious lawn area. This area would also be great for an outdoor ceremony.

Surrounded by nature

Sign outside of the Officer's Club

The rental fee for this venue is $2,400 and includes the following:
-Full use of Chapel
-Full use of Lounge
-Full use of Fireplace Room
-Full use of Library
-Full use of Ballroom (accommodates 300)
-Full use of on-site kitchen (includes refrigerator, industrial size gas stove, coffee maker, ice maker, sinks, microwave)
-All tables and chairs
-Dance floor

This venue offers TONS for its price. They only book one wedding per weekend, so you're guaranteed to have full use of all of the above mentioned spaces for your wedding alone. 

The coordinator has her own linen rental company, so it's easy to coordinate between vendors. Also, she's super friendly and helpful.

The venue is seriously just surrounded with green hills and old trees. If you're looking for one of those old barn type locations, but are willing to sacrifice on the barn itself, check this place out.

This site has a list of caterers (approximately 15) that it works with. 

For more information, contact Taffy at (805) 541-6168 or CampSanLuisObispoClubs@hotmail.com.

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Recipe: Blueberry-Peach Cobbler.

Little known secret: I love cobbler.

Just kidding.

That's totally not a secret.

The other day I was drooling all over the idea of making peach cobbler. And since we had fresh blueberries on hand, my chins were like "Hey, make it a peach-blueberry combo because I said so." To which I replied, "You're not the boss of me, but I'll do it anyway because that's the best thing I've heard all day."

Adapted from BettyCrocker.com

1 cup original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches

Heat oven to 375 F (190 C).

1.  Drain peaches, reserving a small amount of syrup (less than 1/4 cup) on the side.

2. In an ungreased 8x8 baking dish, stir together Bisquick, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and the reserved syrup. Stir in butter until blended.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and the drained peaches; spoon over batter.

Top with blueberries.

4. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until golden.

5. Eat it with ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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