Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Step Past Disagreement

"When the world says, 'Give up', Hope whispers, 'Try it one more time.' "~ Unknown

The definition of a disagreement is a failure or refusal to agree. In business and in life disagreements happen.

Whether fiance's squabbling over which cake they want or which friends get invited; to a mother & daughter not seeing eye-to-eye on a dj or a live band; a President of a corporation and an Executive Assistant not agreeing on which venue to use for the next event; everyone sees things their own way; it is when we can put ourselves in someone else's shoes, and openly hear each other out, that solutions are discovered! (Thank you mom)

The people we surround ourselves with do want the best for us. In a time of disagreement it is often hard to see that, but when you take the time to step back often times you will see that the differences aren't so different. Take the time to breath and think before speaking (a concept I myself have trouble with, I often have a shotgun reaction). Taking that few minutes to step outside the disagreement can often give us new perspective. Know that that person is fighting for what they believe is best for you...which really just means they care. And isn't that what we all surround ourselves with people that care about us?

"I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right. "~ Albert Einstein

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Birthday Step

"Cherries are the promise of summer", I heard this quote the other day. It got me thinking about how fun a cherry themed party would be. It being my birthday today I thought I would post this cherry inspired inspiration board. If I had my friends and family here I would definitely have fun putting this party together. ENJOY!!!

Photos From: (clockwise from top),,,,,,,

For a refreshing treat at the party serve a custom cocktail. I love the idea of a sour cherry mojito, fitting in with our cherry party theme.

Sour Cherry Mojito Recipe:

bunch of mint
sour cherries (pits and stems removed), lots of them
2 oz white rum
plenty of crushed ice
soda water or sparkling mineral water
about ½ oz agave nectar or simple syrup to taste
squeeze of lime
1. In a highball or tall mixing glass, gently muddle together 1 large sprig of mint and a handful of cherries.
2. Add to glass the rum, ice, soda water and agave nectar/simple syrup. Stir until the beverage is well combined and glass is nice and frosty. Add squeeze of lime and fresh mint for garnish. Enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Patriotic Steps

The fourth of July is fast approaching, enjoy the above story board for some inspiration. Break out that red, white and blue decor and have a good old fashion BBQ. Once that barbecue is fired up, throw on some hamburgs and hot dogs (a cute added presentation stick each hamburg with a flag toothpick to hold together), make some potato or macaroni salad, and end the meal with some easy red velvet cupcakes. Off to find myself a BBQ now...happy planning to all. (Don't forget if you'd like help whipping up that summer party email me at

Photos from: (clockwise from top),,,,,, and PriceGrabber

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Tastey Step

I had the wonderful opportunity the other day to sit down with Paula from Swirlz Cupcakes in Lincoln Park. Upon walking into the quaint shop not only are you greeted with a case full of delectable cupcake treats but also the that wonderful aroma of fresh baked goodness.

These delicious treats are topped with a light creamy dollop of Italian butter cream, which has the perfect balance of sweet and creamy...just a touch of sugar not overdone in the least. The cupcakes are made in an eye pleasing two tone colors, then topped with their own little delicacy. Flavors change daily but are offered in the classics such as: vanilla, chocolate, carrot, red velvet and then there are the more taste bud tantalizing flavors of: chocolate peanut butter crunch (my personal favorite), banana nutella, and maple pecan pancake.
Stop by this sweet spot Monday through Saturday 10am to 7pm, at 705 W. Belden. Take home a great treat or place an order for your next gathering. Cupcakes can also be made in little mini versions as well.

A Fathering Step

On a day where I spend the day remembering all the wonderful memories I have of my father, I thought I would look into where Father's Day began and give you some great Father's Day traditions of your own.

So where did Father's Day begin? The tradition of Father's Day began back in 1910 but took 62 years to become an actual holiday. Thanks to Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, the oldest of 6 of a Civil War vet, we now celebrate father's day. While in church listening to a mother's day sermon Dodd began to contemplate how to honor fathers. On June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, with the support of the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA the towns children wore red roses, to honor living fathers and white roses to honor those that had passed. Then in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recommended that the 3rd Saturday in become a national holiday but it wasn't until 1972 when President Richard Nixon issued a permanent proclamation that father's day have its national observance. And Sonora Louise Smart Dodd is now known as the "Mothers of Father's Day".

So know you're asking yourself what to do for that special dad? As a child I got a big kick out of making breakfast in bed for my dad. My dad had taught me how to make scramble eggs in the microwave. I would wake up early and make scrambles with far too much cheese and toast and dutifully my father ate them like they were a 5-star meal, shells and all. Make some homemade cards and bring dad some eggs, fruit, and coffee in bed.
Another great idea, is getting dad a book all about fathers, have your little one but the date on the inside cover with a message all their own. After breakfast in bed dad and child can curl up and read the story together, sure to leave lasting memories. A few great choices are: "Father's Day" by Anne Rockwell, "I love My Daddy" by Sebastien Bach, or "Daddy Kisses" by Anne Gutman.
For those that have a little artist on your hands, have your child draw up a picture just for dad. You could frame the picture or for a unique idea scan the picture into your computer, shrink the artwork down to business card size, print, then laminate. Dad can now carry around the this little token of love with him everywhere in his wallet.

For all the fathers out there, "Happy Father's Day!!", enjoy the special moments that I am sure will be created today. To those that have lost their father's remember the special moments you shared.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Inspiring Step

Some words of wisdom....on a tough day I like to read these, they remind me why I am here!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."
-T.E. Lawrence

"Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives."
Viktor Frankl

"Every artist was first an amateur."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson fuels me through, in case you couldn't tell. I hope some of these help you, whether you are starting a business or getting married. Sometimes we can all feel overwhelmed, just take some time to take a deep breathe and take in one of these quotes!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Helpful Step

I've been thinking: There are so many brides going the D.I.Y. route, and I cant blame them. Times are tough and budgets are tight. While you may be excited by all the projects to make your wedding your own, you may start to feel overwhelmed. I have heard horror stories of bridesmaids not showing up for D.I.Y. parties, leaving the bride-to-be with a sleepless night of crafting. If you are one of these brides that feels she has bitten off more then she can chew, please email me, I would love to offer my glue gun and crafting help, leaving you to relax and enjoy the events to come! Prices are negotiable depending on time and craftiness needed. I am not here to break your bank just offer a helping hand!

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"Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me." -Richard Gere (as Ike Graham in 1999 Runaway Bride)
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Engaging Step

What exactly is the meaning behind the engagement ring and how did it come about??
The gift of a ring is said to be that of promised love, with the circular shape of the ring symbolizing eternal love and unity. The ring is said to be placed on the left "ring finger" to follow what was thought to be the "vena amoris", the vein of love. It was believed in Egyptian times that a vein ran from the left "ring finger" to the heart. The tradition still follows today of placing the engagement ring on the forth finger. During the medieval era the tradition of the of the engagement ring was instituted by Pope Innocent III, when he mandated that there be a waiting period from engagement to marriage. Only the wealthiest nobles could afford precious stones for their rings, so most engagement rings were made of simple metal bands. When large portion of the population could afford rings with precious stones, engagement rings became more stylized, many including sets of stones with personal meaning. A nice tradition that came about was using the the birthstone of the engaged couple. During the Victorian era it became a tradition for engagement rings to spell out a message with precious stones,the initials of the stones spelled out a message: Lapis, Opal, Variscite, and Emerald for LOVE. Other engagement rings during this era also contained a compartment for a lock of the betrothed hair. The modern day tradition of a diamond engagement rings is largely due to an advertising campaign by De Beers, the worlds leading diamond company. In 1947 they ran an add campaign with the slogan "A Diamond is Forever". This campaign is still known as the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. It is believed that a man's commitment is shown by how expensive the ring is, and many engagement rings are truly impressive. Modern day rings are all about personal style and have taken many new twists, with some couples even tattooing their rings on their finger.
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"My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked." -Elizabeth Taylor

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Musical Steps

I had to share one of my favorite artists with you, Chantal Kreviazuk. This song makes me think first dance every time I hear it. Just thought I'd share one of my little pleasures. While following on my day of music, I found one more I must share. Ladies if you are like me and my girlfriends, after seeing P.S. I Love You, you too wanted to fly to Ireland to find yourself an Irishman. This song has been one of my favorites since then. (And no I have not found myself an Irishman yet, lol) If you are looking for this song, it is by The Pogues.

A Glamorous Step

I think you will agree with me that the headpieces designed by Lo Boheme are just stunning. This wife and husband team, Lauren and Josh Christensen, have captured a beauty of era's past. No one piece is like another, they are similar but not identical, giving every piece that one of a kind feel. Lo Boheme was started after Lauren made all nine hairpieces for the bridesmaids in her own wedding two years ago. Thank god for this do-it-yourself spirit, now everyone can have the beauty that is Lo Boheme. Custom pieces can be ordered and have a 4-6 week turnaround; while made to order pieces take about 2 weeks. These great designs can be found at

All the glamour was captured by: Mike Larson, Inc.,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Colorful Steps

Its a warm summer day here in the city and while most of the city is in Blackhawk glory today (Championship parade down Michigan and Wacker) I confess I have been dreaming of weddings. Good friends of mine announced that they are getting married and I have been emailing them ideas left and right. So while on the search for their perfect wedding decor, I thought I would share one of my favorite color combinations, ORANGE AND COBALT BLUE!!! How fun are these colors? Separate they are great; together they scream FUN!!! Perfect color choices for a summer wedding. Fall time you could mute the colors and do navy and orange. Enjoy!!

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How beautiful is this shoe...great for the brides something blue!
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I cant say enough about this dramatic draping! Such a dramatic entrance to your event!
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Such a cute favor idea!! And one that would actually get used!
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There are sooo many great photos for this color combination. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Small but Productive Step

Would like to take the opportunity to thank Amy Noel Longmire!! She is the "Marketing & Membership Development Manager" of the Lake View East Chamber of Commerce. I can not stress what a wealth of information she has been. With her guidance Steppe Stone is definitely on the move to some much bigger steps. As of now we are proud to say that Steppe Stone Events is the newest member of the chamber. We are really looking forward to the networking possibilities this is bringing to us!
(photo provided by:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."
-Julia Child
Did you know that the word bride comes from the old English name for "cook"??
(photo provided by:

Grooms Step

Are you looking for a way to give a nod to old traditions and a way to honor the man you are marrying?? Why not choose the time honored tradition of a groom's cake? The groom's cake is said to date back to the 17th century. It is believed that the groom's cake was originally a fruitcake, unfrosted or covered in a white frosting to match the brides cake. Before the invention of the freezer the cake was made with heavy fruits and then soaked in liquor to sustain a longer shelf life. It is believed that this is were the adaptation of keeping a portion of cake for your first anniversary derived from. The time honored fruitcake was seen as a southern tradition until the 1970's when we began to see chocolate and devil food cakes. In the south it was customary for the groom and his friends to escape to a parlor to drink, have a cigar and eat chocolate cake. Today's cakes have taken on a new look; often showing a grooms interest in a hobby, sport, a nod to his Alma mater or occupation. Grooms cakes are a way to bring in a more creative silly side.
As for when to serve the groom's cake, there are several options for that as well. Traditionally the grooms cake was cut up at the reception then packaged up for guests to take home as a "thank you". It is believed that if single female guests put the cake under their pillow they would dream of their future husband. Serving the grooms cake as a departing gift to your guests still a nice touch. The cake can also be served as an alternate dessert to the wedding cake, many brides now choosing to have dessert bars. Another idea is to serve the groom's cake at the rehearsal dinner as a toast to the groom. This is a very fitting option since the groom's family normally hosts the rehearsal dinner. You could also have mini groom's cakes made up to present to your attendants at this time as a "thank you". Whatever you choose to do remember to have fun with it and remember this is a way to include your groom who may be feeling a bit left out.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

D.I.Y. Step

The Today show featured this great idea on the 10 o'clock hour. I thought what a wonderful idea it would be as a photo wall at a wedding. A few black and white photos and you have some great, inexpensive, personal decor. Although not just wedding decor but for those tweens and teens that like change things up all the time, just switch the photos and you can have a whole new look. Hope you love this quick diy idea as much as I did.

Items needed:
-photographs (best if you cut down a 5x7 print)
-jewel cases
-cardboard or foam board
-a ruler
-tape (double sided)
-Velcro tape

To assemble:
1. Remove the plastic inside of CD case and all paper inserts
2. Using the paper inserts as a template cut your cardboard/foam board to size, this will be used as photo backing
2. Trim your photos to size, should be 5 3/8 x 4 5/8
3. Attach the cardboard to the backside of photo using the double sided tape
4. Put the photo in the backside of the jewel case, facing outward, close jewel case
5. Affix piece of Velcro to the side of the case with no photo, affix other side of Velcro to the wall where you want to place photo
6. Attach to wall and presto artwork

Photo provided by:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Little Steps

Not everyday can be filled with big monumental steps. Even the little ones will help get you to the final goal. Have spent the day getting all social media pages going. Steppe Stone Events can now be found on Facebook and Twitter (follow link below to follow us on Twitter). I would also like to thank my friends and family for all the follows and retweets. Your continued love and support is a driving force for me daily. It is a comfort to have the support of those around you! Thank you for all your help in getting Steppe Stone Events name out there and thank you for believing in my dream!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"I can't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness. You never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny, and its best to be as pretty as possible for destiny." -Coco Chanel

Building a Foundation

Whether you are just starting a business (like myself) or you are a big fish, I just read an amazing book, sure to help you or offer inspiration. "The Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business" by Susan Wilson Solovic. Besides having written a great book, Susan is an entrepreneurial inspiration. She's written four best sellers and is appointed to the National Women's Business Council. This book was such an easy read I finished it in a day. It offers such good advice, from many different women run businesses. Susan gives you the inspiration to strive for your dreams and to dream big. I strongly recommend picking this book up. I finished reading this book and was so excited to get Steppe Stone Events moving forward. I hope you find it as inspirational as I do.
The next book I have dived into is "Adventures in Entrepreneurship Brewing Up a Business-from the founder of dogfish head craft brewery" by Sam Calagione. I find books on business very inspirational, you can learn something from all fields of business. I'll let you know what I think of this one, so far so good.

1st Stepping Stone

Hi y'all, I am new to this blogging experience and for that matter starting my own business. I will try to keep this amusing for you, it's based on my life after all, and if you know me well you know what an amusement ride it has been thus far. I have just recently moved to Chicago; Lakeview to be exact. I am a little town girl, trying to grow some big city legs. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with weddings...I think it all started with Cinderella. I planned elaborate parties for my barbies and painfully made my grandpa sit through tea parties with me. I started working in a wedding salon, Zelda's, when I was in high school. I was in heaven and was lucky to have a wonderful boss who taught me all she knew about the bridal industry. At 19, I was her right hand, I had a ball helping brides plan that special day. From picking invitations, to wedding party attire, to helping select favors and just plain give advice. I was bit by the wedding bug, and its an itch that has not gone away. I have helped friends and family plan the special moments in their lives, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, wedding showers...I am there with all my ideas, I am there setting everything up, I am there making sure all details come together, and that my friends and family get the days they envisioned. I am so happy to be there to build these memories for them. I have always thought you should love what you do and when I was offered the opportunity to make my dream a reality I could not pass at the chance. So here I am...taking the first step in making my dreams come true!