Lavender Infused Lemonade with Honey – the ONLY Summer Lemonade Recipe You Need!

Though I’m born and raised as a city girl, my roots trace back to the deep south and (in my Phaedra Parks’ voice) everybody knows it’s impolite to not have a cold glass of homemade lemonade or sweet tea at-the-ready for guests in the hot summer months.

Though southern belle at heart, there’s no better joy than discovering a remix on an “oldie but goodie” and this home-brewed Lavender Infused Lemonade with Honey hits the spot with a distinctive, refreshing taste and plenty of Vitamin C. Not to mention, it’s vegetarian, paleo safe, and gluten free – if you’re into those kind of things!

Your INGREDIENTS include:

Lavender Lemonade with Honey

  • 1 cup raw honey (local if you can get it)
  • 5 cups purified water
  • 1 Tbsp. dried, organic culinary lavender (or 1/4 cup fresh lavender blossoms, crushed)
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed, organic lemon juice, strained
  • Ice cubes
  • Lavender sprigs, for garnish

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients:

  • Bring 2 1/2 cups purified water to boil in a medium pan
  • Remove from heat and add in honey, stirring to dissolve
  • Add the lavender to the honey water, cover the pan, and let steep (at least 20 minutes or up to several hours) to taste.

You can put the lavender into a tea infuser or reusable tea bag for easier clean up. Otherwise,

  • Strain mixture and either compost or discard the remaining lavender
  • Pour infusion into a glass pitcher
  • Add lemon juice and approximately another 2 1/2 cups of cold water, to taste.
  • Stir well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use, or pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice, then garnish with lavender sprigs.

Lavender Herb

Okay, so listen closely! Use of lavender essential oil in this recipe is NOT recommended.

Seriously!

Consuming lavender oil can be toxic, cause allergic reactions, as well as contribute to hormone imbalances in men and boys. Signs of lavender oil toxicity include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, burning pain in the throat, difficulty breathing and skin rash.

If you suspect you have an allergy to lavender or decide to use essential oil – although we suggested against it – and start to exhibit any of these signs, please call Poison Control immediately!

Otherwise, step 8 is to simply, ENJOY!

Cheers to the summer!  Happy planning!

 

 

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Guestiquette: Honor vs. Pleasure

wedding-invitations-flowing-calligraphy-5680I was recently asked a question that I think a lot of people may have had confusion over. Recall, if you will, an invitation that you’ve received for a wedding or other formal event.  Chances are it opened with the line “request the honor of your presence” or “request the pleasure of your company” as part of the wording. Believe it or not these phrases actually have etiquette guidelines on when they can each be used and are not entirely interchangeable.

The phrase “…the honor of your presence…” is reserved for wedding ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, be it a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or another religious institution.

Meanwhile the phrase “…the pleasure of your company…” is used to invite guests to a wedding ceremony taking place anywhere else. Examples of this would include a country club, resort garden area, the beach, etc.

This rule does not take into consideration a religious ceremony, but rather the location. So if you have a Jewish ceremony, complete with a Chuppah, at a resort, you would still request the pleasure of your guests company.

If you want to stick with tradition in this area though, then each has an appropriate and specific use.

Is this etiquette rule breakable without being totally faux pas? I say, yes! Only the trained eye will notice that you used “…the honor of your presence…” to invite them to your beach front wedding. After all, God is everywhere and one could argue that the beach front is just as sacred as the Chapel. I personally believe that God is not limited to a building and that many things can be sacred, so I would have no problem using “the honor of your presence” to invite people to an outdoor wedding.

Do you have wedding questions that you need answers to? Email us at info@socialbfly.com.

Cupcake Bouquets & DIY Tutorial

When I first heard about the cupcake bouquet, I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  But a quick google search led me to this beautiful creation and I’m hooked!  There are endless ideas for this perfect marriage of flowers and cake and who doesn’t love anything that does double duty!

The “florist bakery” featured in the video is Baked Bouquet and they’re located in Verona, NJ. Their creations “offer customers a gift that is new and unique: baked cakes, truffles, ganache, and drizzled chocolate designed and arranged in the form of beautiful flower bouquets…made daily for pick-up and hand delivery”.

I don’t know if anyone is wondering, but I wouldn’t mind getting one of these in the mail tomorrow.

Check out their very mouth-watering website at http://www.bakedbouquet.com/.

Feeling adventurous and wanna try this at home?  Here’s a quick tutorial on how to recreate these beauties for yourself:

And as always, you know we wanna hear about your Cupcake Bouquet Experience so let us know!

Until further notice…celebrate everything!

 

Does Your Wedding Require a Wedding Program?

wedding-program

photo credit: invitationcrush.com

Though optional, a wedding program can provide the perfect way to highlight and thank friends and family who contributed to the big day. Couples who are short on time or money may wish to forego this option, but remember that a simple wedding program doesn’t need to use many resources and many times, can be a simple DIY project for a member of the bridal party.  If you’re unsure of whether or not you should include it as part of your wedding stationery, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I having a religious or traditional wedding, with many guests who are of another faith or culture?
  • Am I having a large wedding, where guests are unlikely to know the bridal party?
  • Am I having a particularly long ceremony where guests will want to be prepared to wait a while?
  • Do I have many people to thank for their contributions to our wedding day?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then I would most likely recommend providing a wedding program for your guests.

There is no “one size fits all” template for creating your wedding program but typically, the cover or header will include the date and/or names of the couple.  It may also include the location and time of the ceremony, a picture, or design element.

Next, you’ll want to outline the Order of Events for your ceremony in the order they will include.  This includes processional music, greeting, readings, prayers, exchange of vows, ring ceremony, unity candle ceremony, pronouncement of marriage, recessional music, and any other ceremony music.

You may also want to use your wedding program to explain the meaning of traditions or rituals used in your ceremony; acknowledge loved ones who are in spirit, highlight the bridal party; or ask for audience participation in certain parts of the ceremony.  Remember, you can customize your program to your desires so get creative – add a quote, throw in a fun fact! – and make it your own!

Pollen-Proofing Your Wedding Day

Photo credit: mediabride.com

I don’t know about you but my allergy symptoms usually start around March, last until mid April, and are unforgivable.  I spend most spring days alternating between sneezing until I’m winded and blowing my nose just to relieve the sinus pressure building on my brain.  And I’m not alone – it’s estimated that some 14 million people also suffer the same runny,  watery, itchy, scratchy, pressurized existence that I do and fall and spring  – the peak allergy seasons – show them no mercy.  If you’re one of those people and are planning your wedding, be it set for any time of the year, the following are some tips to minimize the possibility of your nose interfering with your “I do’s”:

Okay, no-brainer here but your biggest allergy trigger will come from your wedding flowers.  It’s not so much the fragrance of a flower that makes us sneeze but rather the pollen.  Large, brightly colored flowers such as roses, daffodils or daisies have large pollens that are too heavy to be airborne and therefore, less likely to cause allergies. Here are a few wedding flowers that you can use for your wedding that have low pollen. Other low pollen flowers that would be suitable for bridal bouquets, bridegroom boutonnieres, and other floral embellishments, include:

  • Spray Roses – Tiny roses with less than 10 tiny heads on each stem. They grow in a huge variety of different colors and have a light fragrance.
  • Begonias – An odorless evergreen flower that can come in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow, red, orange, white, and a rose color.
  •  Camellias – A pollen free flower that has a very light fragrance and grows naturally in shades of white, red, or pink.
  •  Orchids – A beautifully radiant and durably versatile flower that grows in over 25,000 species; all of which are edible.

Other floral alternatives include using dried or silk flowers or perhaps, a brooch bouquet but if you are a traditional bride and real flowers are a must, I’ve read tips that suggest using the freshest flowers available help minimize the amount of pollen that is released.

Yet, in anticipating all potential allergy triggers, couples should think “beyond the bouquet”.   If the wedding or reception is to be held on a lawn, I’d suggest that the lawn be mowed two to three days ahead of time by a really good mower with an even better grass catcher.  Other nasal symptoms can be caused by everyday non-allergic triggers in the environment — such as hairspray, smoke, perfume, strong odors.  No, this doesn’t mean that couples should avoid topping off their look with a good scent but you may want to limit just how much, especially if it’s a new scent and you aren’t sure how you’ll react to it.

When it comes to allergies and weddings the best plans don’t always account for and stand up to mother nature – ragweed can be a you know what – so you’ll want to make sure that your wedding emergency kit includes moisturized tissues and a no-dose allergy medication just in case all precautionary measures fail .  Drink plenty of water to keep the toxins, uh, “flowing”.  Rinse and repeat.

Are you an allergy sufferer who planning their big day?  What precautionary measures are you taking to avoid the “A-choo” when its time to say “I Do!” ? 

3 Tips for Writing Thank You Cards

After the cake has been eaten, the champagne has been toasted and the guests have gone home, there’s still one significant task left to do and it’s arguably the most difficult.  I’m talking about sending the ‘Thank You’ cards.  It’s non-optional and it’s not a sexy job – just ask any bride or hostess who has endured it.  Hopefully the following tips (and a bottle of wine) will help simplify the process a little.

  • BLANK IS BEST.  Customized messages are the best messages.  Make the most of a ‘beautifully monogrammed on the outside but blank on the inside’ card to create a meaningful and heartfelt message of thanks.
  • SHORT AND SWEET. Remember, this task involves writing, and addressing, dozens upon dozens of personalized messages.  If ever there was a word of advice I could give, it would be to “K.I.S.S”  – Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  You don’t have to write a book to get your point across so keep your thank you cards sweet and to the point. If you’re writing a short novel for each one you’ll have carpal tunnel syndrome before you finish the first fifteen.
  • SIGN WITH THE TIMES.  There’s a good chance that you’ll receive gifts from the moment you announce your engagement until well after you’ve said your “I Do’s” – a note of ‘thanks’ should be sent for every single one.  Wedding gifts that arrive before your wedding date should be acknowledged immediately while thank you’s for any gifts received during or after the wedding should be sent within two weeks after returning from the honeymoon.  When signing off on your cards keep in mind that notes sent prior to the wedding date should be worded to include both the first and last names of the couple (ex. Mr. Christopher Michael Jones and Ms. Anne Davis). Thank you cards sent after the wedding can use the couple’s married (ex. Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Michael Jones).

If you’re finding yourself with a case of writer’s block, try to apply this method to the process:

  • Mention your spouse’s name
  • Mention the gift
  • Tell them what you enjoy about their gift or briefly say how you will use the gift

We want to hear from our readers:  Do you have more tips and tricks for sending thank you cards or getting over writer’s block? Leave a comment below.

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Etsy Find: Glass Slippers

Any girl would dream of being Cinderella if the missing shoe was this T.L.C. Creation made from recycled and repurposed materials.

This exciting design has shards of broken glass over the toes and lots of crystals on the heels.  The sides of the shoes are covered with a collage of glass, pearl and Swarovski crystal embellishments.

And just like Cinderella’s shoe was made specifically for her foot, you too can customize your glass slipper with or without the spikes. You also have the option of requesting shorter spikes (1/2 inch spikes instead of one inch long spikes).

They have a 5 1/2 inch stilleto heel and are available in UK size 3-8 which will fit US size 5 -10 or EU 36 -41.

Available for $575.oo

Photo provided courtesy of etsy.com