Warm Holiday Wishes posted in: Uncategorized

As yet another year comes to a close, I have taken the time to reflect on the many happenings of 2010.  The past year has been one of transition and development and being true to what is inside.  I stepped away from the corporate world and committed myself to my family and the things I enjoy most.   This change has brought me newfound joy and revived my energy and passion for the industry I love.   It has also been a busy year that seems to have flown by at mock speed – so fast at times that I was unable to share all off the wonderful inspirations and exciting things I have learned.   As one chapter comes to a close, another begins to take shape and I am eagerly awaiting the surprises that 2011 will hold for all of us.

Thank you fans, friends and family for your support. I am grateful for the wonderful clients I met and worked with in 2010, as well as industry friends – both new and old that I was fortunate enough to collaborate with this year. Warm wishes to you for a wondrous holiday season and a new year filled with promise, prosperity, happiness and love.



PS: Stay tuned for exciting news about the company….coming soon!

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Yum! Yum! Cinnamon Buns posted in: Food and Beverage

Society, here’s one of my favorite sticky sweet recipes perfect to serve for your holiday breakfast or brunch celebrations. These delicious cinnamon buns will be a hit with guests, and just like magic, will disappear before your very eyes.  



Yum! Yum! Delicious Cinnamon Buns


For the dough
2½ tsp. dry active yeast
¾ c. warm water
1½ c. warm milk
6 c. bread flour
2 tbsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

For the filling
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1½ c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. salt

For the cream cheese frosting
½ c. butter
1½ c. cream cheese
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. salt

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and milk.

2. Knead in dry ingredients. Add butter. Let rise for 45 minutes.

3. After the 45-minute rise, roll out dough into a long rectangle and spread butter over its surface. Sprinkle it with a generous amount of light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

4. Roll up the rectangle into a long cylinder. Cut into fourteen, 2-inch pieces. Place in a greased 9-by-13-inch pan or two 10-inch pie pans and cover with plastic. Let rise another 45 minutes before baking 12-22 minutes at 375°.

5. To prepare the frosting, mix butter, cream cheese, extract, sugar, and salt thoroughly.

6. While the buns are still warm, spread the frosting generously over them and serve immediately.

Yields fourteen pieces

Recipe from pastry chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Series on Wedding Photography posted in: Weddings

Society, I am thrilled to introduce guest blogger Amanda Reed of Amanda Reed Photography.  She is a talented professional photographer with a skilled eye, and has a cult following of her digital art and signature style. Over the coming months, Amanda will share important factors to consider when it comes to photography and your wedding and how to avoid making mistakes. Welcome Amanda, the floor is yours…

Thanks Tanja. Well, let’s jump right in. So, how do you choose the right photographer for you? Is it budget, personality, maybe a referral from a friend?  All of the above? No matter what your reason(s), make sure you hire a professional. Today society would have you believe that owning a 14 megapixel camera or a 10x optical zoom is what defines you as a photographer. I assure you that definition is wrong.

I know of people who consider hiring Uncle Joe to shoot their wedding day. After all, he knows the family, has shot a few high school seniors photos with his new SLR camera, and not to mention the fact that he will give you a high resolution disc of your images – seems like a great deal. Great deals are just what they seem, a deal and not a contracted agreement between a client and a professional. So what’s the difference between a professional and Uncle Joe? -A LOT. A skilled photographer understands the art of photography but also the science.

As a professional photographer myself, I consider the composition of a shot, the lighting (HUGE…more on this at a later date), conditions of the environment, etc to determine the appropriate settings for the camera. Does Uncle Joe have this kind of knowledge and skill? For example, do you know that broad lighting makes you look heavy? Or that if the settings on the camera are not right, your first kiss as husband and wife on that pristine golf course your parents reserved for your ceremony ends up a silhouette of two unidentifiable people…and all because Uncle Joe’s camera was set on automatic mode metered for the sky instead of skin.
A professional could have saved you this heartbreak. We look for light and decide how to best position ourselves for that once in a lifetime shot. We live this and see moments before they happen. We anticipate the tear in your mother’s eye as your dad gives you away, and know how to vantage ourselves to capture both – without red eyes from an on camera flash. Get the picture? Be sure to hire someone qualified for the job. A wedding is not something that can be re-shot at a later date.

There are also unexpected challenges and equipment failures that can and do happen – What if Uncle Joe has a fatal error to a CF card? Perhaps the camera dies all together and there is not a backup in site. Talk about stress and lost opportunity- what a disaster! This has happened to someone, and it will again. Don’t let that someone be you. This is where a professional comes into play saving you from such disaster. We are prepared with experience and thousands of dollars in equipment, ready to capture the special moments in your day.

When meeting your photographer be prepared. A few good questions when seeking out a photographer will save you valuable time in the future. Find out how long the photographer has been in business. Ask something personal, like “what made you want to be a wedding photographer.” Find out other things like, if you need to reschedule your date, will your retainer still be valid? Is the photographer insured? What equipment is used and do they have backup gear? A good photographer will be happy to share this information with you.

So do yourself a huge favor, hire a professional. And please consider the role that not only a professional photographer plays in your wedding but professional planners and florists as well. I assure you there are professionals to work with all budgets and styles, and you owe it to yourself to be prepared and seek them out.

I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into the mind of a professional photographer, and what to look for when considering the right photographer for your wedding. In my next featured article we will discuss engagement sessions.

See you soon!

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Totally Cool TV posted in: Entertainment, Great Products

HANNspree may not be a name you are familiar with, but the company produces a range of novelty LCD TVs. And in one word, they are A-DORABLE!!

HANNspree boutique during a recent travel to LA, and was so taken by this the creativity that I stood in the window (early on a Sunday am and unfortunately they weren’t yet
open L ) snapping pictures as if it I had just spotted George Clooney! My mind was running crazy designing children’s bedrooms – and I don’t even have kids! These fun sets would make a fabulous gift for someone special in your life – for sure!It was the delicious apple TV (truly the shape of an apple) that first caught my eye – such a clever and colorful design. As I got closer I was filled with glee to see so many impossibly cute TVs!?! Screens embedded in plush outers shaped like animals! How about a giraffe, a zebra, or a camel? What about another of our faves – the crab?! Apples and animals not your kid’s thing? Then perhaps a Cinderella stagecoach or a sports-themed set like a basketball would be just right. The company offers a variety of styles and models – so you’re sure to be able to find the perfect one for your little little one. Heck, these TVs are so cool big kids and adults love ’em too!

OK, Where to buy? We’ve got you covered. Click here. I will tell you that only a few models are offered through certain of the listed e-tail outlets. Your best best is to order from the boutique in LA. Call the store or browse the web to check out all available models (hint: the European HANNspree site lists the novelty models in one place).

So, are these too cute or what? Tell us what you think. Would your kids love these TVs? Which one would be their fave?

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WV Weddings – New Blog: Planner’s Palette posted in: Society News, Uncategorized, Weddings


I am honored and delighted to share with you that I have been asked to be a part of an expert panel for WV Weddings Magazine. I will be teaming with the magazine’s savvy and dynamic editor, Nikki Bowman and other wedding and event industry professionals in the state to bring you the latest and greatest in the world of weddings. This new resource, entitled Planner’s Palette is available to you now on the WV Weddings website, mywvwedding.com. This new resource can be found by clicking on “advice” from the home page. The blog launched just this week, so head on over to the site and check out Nikki’s welcome post to introduce you to the panel.

I had the pleasure of contributing the first blog post which was posted today. The topic given to me for this week was to define –What is a planner? I hope that you will take a few minutes to read the article, and that you find it enlightening and helpful. There’s more great informative and fun content coming your way from this panel- so be sure to save the Planner’s Palette to your favorites and add the blog to your RSS feeds.



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